The Israeli-innovated Total Lift Bed is a simple but revolutionary solution that could set a new standard of care in hospitals and rehabilitation centers worldwide.
Made by VitalGo Systems, the patented Total Lift is the only hospital-grade bed that can elevate a patient from a lying to a fully standing position — and all points in between — for treatment and transfer with no lifting required of the caregiver.
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Two major companies are now distributing Total Lift in the acute-care and home-care markets in the United States. About 350 of the beds are in use there, with a goal of tripling that amount next year. The product is registered with the US Food and Drug Administration and the CE in Europe.
“We have to ramp up production because we are getting approached from all over the world — Germany, the UK, China, Japan and other countries,” says VitalGo President and CEO Ohad Paz.
“We believe that our product will eventually become the standard of treatment in hospitals and healthcare facilities, as the concept has numerous advantages over the beds used today. We can already see a movement of the big companies trying to imitate our concept and understanding the importance of early mobility.”
He points out to ISRAEL21c that Total Lift not only prevents patient falls and caregiver injuries, but also leads to shorter hospital stays because it allows patients to get out of the prone position earlier and more often. Lying in bed for prolonged periods has been proved to cause medical problems such as muscle atrophy and bedsores.
“This is the only bed in the world that can do all of this,” says Paz, a certified public accountant by training and an entrepreneur by interest.
Innovative weight-bearing system
Around 2005, Paz and his business partner Ofer Parezky – who had worked on successful consumer goods in the past – were approached about designing products to enable the elderly to “age in place” in safety and dignity. Then, Paz’s father was sent to a rehab center after suffering a stroke, and the issue got closer to home.
“We started with a showering product that moves the person from a standing to a reclining position. This was my first patent, and it was very complicated mechanically,” recalls Paz. “I said to myself, if we made a product like this for the shower, why not for the bed?”
The Total Lift Bed has a few patents, one of which is a unique weight-bearing control system that shows the exact weight bearing of the patient by calculating the amount of pressure placed on the footboard in relation to the patient’s body weight. The more the patient is tilted up, the more pressure gets transferred to the lower extremities.
This feature allows, for the first time, for three options – zero weight bearing, partial weight bearing and full weight bearing. Each option has important implications for treatment, Paz explains.
“For patients in rehab today, it’s all or nothing — lying or standing — and the therapist needs to hold onto them and it’s dangerous. With our bed, you do it gradually, step by step, and can measure the weight bearing. This system is so innovative that we had to explain its benefits to doctors, and once they understand it they see its great potential.”
The ability to transfer weight to the footboard, even without getting out of bed completely, is advantageous for people who are too ill to walk or are hooked up to myriad machines.
“With our bed, there is no risk,” says Paz. “If you have some of the weight shifted for a few hours, it makes a huge difference in not losing muscle tension, which is the biggest problem. Every day in bed, you lose 1.5% of muscle tension.”
VitalGo recently launched its new Total Lift Bariatric Bed, which can handle patients weighing up to 1,000 pounds. “It is already being used in the US. Some of these people have not stood up for months or even years, and this is their first opportunity to get out of bed,” says Paz.
Bankrolled by private investors and based in Tel Aviv, VitalGo has an office in Florida and produces the bed piecemeal from parts made in Israel, Turkey, Scandinavia and the United States.