Permobil has moved to bridge the gap between power and manual wheelchairs by acquiring MAX Mobility.
The takeover will allow the business to expand its wheelchair offerings by providing a motorised power assist solution to its users. Power assist provides an alternative solution for manual wheelchair users to maintain their independence and reduce the risks of repetitive strain injuries associated with wheelchair propulsion.
US-based MAX Mobility produces the SmartDrive MX2+ with PushTracker technology, which is a “revolutionary” power assist device that works on virtually any manual wheelchair on the market.
MAX Mobility is led by entrepreneur Mark Richter, who developed an interest in wheelchair users who self-propel and the challenges they face because of it, including shoulder injuries from years of propulsion.
“Almost three out of four manual wheelchair users have shoulder pain already. By becoming part of Permobil and adding power assist to the portfolio we can expand our reach and reduce shoulder pain for users globally,” he said.
Mr Richter will join Permobil as senior group innovation advisor working across the Power, Manual and Seating and Positioning portfolios.
SmartDrive easily attaches to manual chairs in just seconds and is ideal for users with limited strength. It attaches to the back of the user’s chair and with built-in battery can go for miles on a single charge.
“We are excited to welcome MAX Mobility to the Permobil family,” stated Larry Jackson, president of Permobil Business Region Americas. “The addition of power assist technology to our portfolio greatly expands our offering and will provide an independent mobility solution for our users globally.”
The value of the acquisition was not disclosed.