Permobil has teamed up with a Swedish company to bring a specially designed, hand-crafted watch to the UK mobility market designed to protect wheelchair users from falls by predicting them and issuing alerts.
The creator of the watch, Bellpal, hopes to draw on Permobil’s distribution network in the UK to see its product roll out.
Bellpal’s watch has a real-time AI device inside that can both alert and provide access to personal support 24 hours a day.
The company claims that the tests carried out with partners in and outside Sweden have shown reliability and precision in the case of a fall.
Gordon Cunningham, Permobil’s general manager for the UK and Ireland, said: “I’m very excited that we will be able to offer this incredible fall prevention device in the UK.
“From the contact my team has with healthcare professionals and wheelchair users, we know that falling is a major risk and concern.
“We want to help get the Bellpal watch to those who need it to reduce the risk of injury and to stay independent.”
Helene Svahn, senior vice president group research and innovation at Permobil, said: “Fall injuries are one of the biggest secondary injuries for wheelchair users.
“Together with Bellpal, we can help the elderly and end-users of our chairs to prevent falls and if it happens, they can feel safe in the knowledge that the emergency services and those close to you can be notified immediately.”
Permobil will take a minority stake in Bellpal and Helene Svahn will join Bellpal’s board.
Bellpal has so far received investment from Göran Grosskopf, Per Berglund, Bellpal’s medical expert John Krueger and the singer Molly Sandén.
Bellpal’s CEO, David Ziemsky, said: “Our vision with Bellpal is that more people can choose independence and a high quality of life.
“It is a vision that Permobil also shares, and with this cooperation, Bellpal gets a strong partner that can support us in technology and market development.
“Permobil’s extensive distribution network in Europe, North America and Asia is of particular importance.”