Medifab wins first prize award with innovative Shuttle Discovery
An exciting postural management seating system designed to achieve the best possible positioning for a baby or small child with special needs, but has the appearance of a high street stroller, has won a prestigious award.
The Shuttle Discovery Stroller & Seating System, from leading New Zealand manufacturer Medifab, won first prize in the commercial category at the Better Technology Awards, funded by the National Committee on Rehabilitation Engineering in Australia.
The awards recognise excellence in the development of assistive technologies, and were run by Engineers Australia, which encourages Australian and New Zealand innovation in this sector.
Medifab director Graham Mascull says the New Zealand based firm is delighted to receive the recognition for its seating system.
“This product has come on a long journey, with our passion to develop a fully functioning positioning system with a non-medical aesthetic, in line with the best regular buggies on the market. We understand it can be quite confronting for parents of special needs children with severe physical challenges to accept some kind of support or mobility aid, so the better they feel about a product and how it looks, the more likely they are to embrace and use it.”
The Shuttle Discovery buggy ticks all the boxes when it comes to functionality, quality, durability and particularly versatility.
The Discovery seat can also be removed from the buggy frame and used seamlessly with a high chair base for feeding, a low nursery base for playing and a rocking base to soothe and relax the child, which was among its features impressing the award’s judges.
Lloyd Walker, chair of the National Committee on Rehabilitation Engineering, and one of the judges at the awards said the “clever integration” of the Discovery seat impressed the judges as it saved on buying and transporting multiple pieces of equipment.
“We were impressed with the effort Medifab put into drawing on local content and expertise in the development of a stylish and highly functional seating solution for young children with complex posture needs. The use of lightweight but strong materials was complemented by the user trials that lead to improvements in placement in certain controls as well as cleanable fabrics.”
Quality control systems, maintenance support, product sales literature and packaging were other considerations made during the judging process.
Lloyd Walker says care had also been taken by Medifab to ensure the new system met current AS/NZS standards for these products, with work undertaken to ensure the unit would be export-ready by meeting other requirements of the USA.
Graham Mascull says the Shuttle Discovery was designed to meet government funding models in Australasia, to allow it to be accessed widely by parents.
“It is very important to us to look after the local market first. However it is a product we definitely plan to get out to the rest of the world, in order to help shape better lives for young people with special needs and their families.”
Learn more about the Shuttle Discovery at www.shuttlediscovery.com