Rifton Equipment Wins Gold at Prestigious Medical Design Excellence Awards for Breakthrough Safe Patient Handling Device

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Small US manufacturer wins big at international medical device design competition for their innovative design of a safe patient handling device.

Sit-to-stand lift gait trainer

The RiftonTRAM performing a sit-to-stand lift ready for gait training.

I haven't seen anything this innovative in adaptive equipment in a long time.

The Rifton TRAM, an innovative transfer and mobility device, won gold at the prestigious Medical Design Excellence Awards (MDEA) held in Philadelphia on June 19. Recognized in the Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Products category, the TRAM was praised for its thoughtful design and revolutionary approach to safe patient handling.

“The MDEA were created to recognize significant advances in medical product design and engineering that improve the quality of healthcare delivery and accessibility,” said James Costigan, spokesperson for the MDEA program. “The Rifton TRAM perfectly illustrates what is possible when engineering, design and humanity come together.”

Heralded by many industry experts as the most significant innovation in safe patient handling equipment in over a decade, the Rifton TRAM is a multi-functional device capable of lifting, transferring and providing supported ambulation to patients of varying abilities and body types. It was conceived, designed and manufactured by Rifton, a leading manufacturer of adaptive positioning and mobility equipment.

“What impressed me about the TRAM is that it serves a real need,” said MDEA judge and principal of Design Science Consulting Inc. Stephen B. Wilcox, PhD, FIDSA. “It’s a clever and thoughtful use of existing technology that really empowers both the patient and caregiver. I haven’t seen anything this innovative in adaptive equipment in a long time.”

“We asked therapists what they needed in the field, and their response was loud and clear,” said Gideon Clement, Design Team Leader for the TRAM. “They wanted a device that would eliminate lifting, reduce back strain and workplace injuries, and give dignity and safety to the client. So we got to work.”

A result of Rifton’s unique team approach to product design, the TRAM is a collective of the company’s best thinking. “It is essential we bring all ideas to the table to ensure a successful outcome,” said Kirk Wareham, Rifton’s Director of Product Design. “We draw from a wide, internal talent pool of engineers, machinists and customer service representatives. Working together, we make sure every aspect of design is considered and met.”

The smallest company to win at MDEA, Rifton beat out technology giants like Samsung and Honeywell. “This is as much of a win for our therapists and clients as it is us for Rifton,” said Clare Stober, Rifton Creative Director. “We don’t need to be huge to make a difference, we just need to keep listening.”

Started in 1977, Rifton has transformed the industry’s expectations of adaptive positioning and mobility equipment and has become the benchmark for like manufacturers. Every aspect of Rifton’s research and development, production, and service is driven by an honest commitment to improve the lives of those with disabilities. Proudly made in the USA at facilities in New York’s Hudson Valley, each Rifton product is custom-configured to meet the client’s specific needs.

For more information on Rifton and its products, visit http://www.rifton.com.

The Medical Design Excellence Awards are the industry’s premier design awards competition and the only awards program exclusively recognizing contributions and advances in the design of medical products. Entries are evaluated on the basis of their design and engineering features, including innovative use of materials, user-related functions improving healthcare delivery and changing traditional medical attitudes or practices, features providing enhanced benefits to the patient, and the ability of the product development team to overcome design and engineering challenges so the product meets its clinical objectives.

For more information on the awards and judging criteria, visit http://www.MDEAwards.com.

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