Kiwi company HT Systems uses tech to reduce carer injuries

With TechweekNZ kicking off next week, we wanted to showcase some of the revolutionary technology coming out of New Zealand that could have a huge impact on the aged-care sector – like the Kera sit2sit from Christchurch’s HT Systems.

According to data from ACC, hospitals, nursing, and residential care facilities lead all industries for workplace injury.[1] Carers and health assistants are at the highest risk of injury (particularly musculoskeletal injuries), as their job requires the frequent transferring and repositioning of people.[2]

HT Systems, a Christchurch-based tech company, has come up with an ingenious piece of equipment that could significantly reduce these injuries: the Kera sit2sit, a transfer aid that assists a single caregiver to transfer a person with mobility issues quickly and securely between their wheelchair and other seated positions. We spoke to Richard Shepherd, CEO of HT Systems, about how the Kera sit2sit could help improve the life of people with low mobility and their carers.

How did the Kera sit2sit come about?

The concept for the Kera sit2sit started 25 years ago. Staff at Christchurch’s Burwood Hospital were reporting high rates of injury as a result of having to regularly move patients, so approached the University of Canterbury for help. Keith Alexander, the inventor of the Springform trampoline, took on the project with support from the University of Canterbury – and after working closely with the healthcare sector, eventually developed what is currently the only hoist manufactured in New Zealand.

How does it work?

The Kera sit2sit uses a unique combination of back straps and chest pads, rather than a sling. This allows it to be operated by a single carer without risk of injury, as opposed to other hoists which require two carers to operate. It’s totally mechanical – so no power is required – and can transfer someone in as little as two minutes. Its compact design means it can be used in tight spaces, like bathrooms, and stored nearby for easy use.  

Why should I choose the kerasit2sit?

The Kera sit2sit has been developed with user experience at top of mind. Not only is it easier and safer for carers to use, it also provides a greater feeling of security to those who are being transferred and significantly cuts down the time a person is suspended whilst in transfer: a particularly undignified situation for many. Unlike other hoists, it can be used by people of almost any age and ability. We have seen how the Kera sit2sit has helped families around the country during tough times, such as during Covid-19 lockdowns when caregivers weren’t able to visit their home.

Do you have other mobility aids?

We started importing the Alphalift mobility lift in April 2021, a solution which transfers a person from their wheelchair into a car passenger’s seat. This product is another step towards our vision of enabling people with disabilities and mobility issues to live a better life through clever, simple assistive technology. We are currently working on other products that will solve outstanding issues that are faced by people with disabilities and mobility issues in New Zealand and the world over.

For more information about the Kera sit2sit or the Alphalift mobility aid, visit the HT Systems website.



About Mason Head

Mason Head
Content Creator and Publication Lead at Eldernet

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