The offset rail design is an innovation that sets HealthCraft apart from others. We discovered the offset rail concept through designing the E2 Trapeze Handle. Afterwards, we applied the same innovative thinking to the PT Rail.
The E2 Trapeze Handle was developed to help people sit up in bed. Ed observed that the standard D-shaped trapeze handles left his clients stuck halfway between lying down and sitting up. After mocking up different handle shapes with the help of easily bendable paper clips, we discovered a layout similar to the rungs of a ladder that provided more leverage than the standard handle. From this, the offset rail was born.
The PT Rail was designed after visiting a local health care centre. We found that therapists and maintenance staff were frustrated with existing fold down rails. The main issues included:
- The rails were wobbly and didn’t feel secure
- Placement of the rails weren’t optimal for users of different body types
- The rails didn’t lock in the up position; which meant the caregiver had to hold the rail out of the way while helping a patient
With this in mind, we were able to engineer a simple, yet extremely functional product, the PT Rail.
We considered different ways to craft the strongest fold down rail. Adding a strut to the rail made it less wobbly, but it looked industrial and clunky. We were able to imitate a strut by taking the bent rail and facing it away from the user – creating an offset between the top and bottom rails. The offset required a wider mount plate on the wall, which helped disperse the load. An added benefit to the offset was that it provided built-in adjustable height and width for users of different sizes. This is ideal for situations when a washroom needs to work for multiple patients.