Ambulance stretcher design
What if ambulance personnel would have a lightweight wheelchair to transport patients with light injuries? What if paramedics could take more equipment on the ambulance, without taking up more space?
Studio Rotor developed the ambulance stretcher design of the Multi Scoop Pro for Retter Helfer Medical. Our colleagues at IDP Amsterdam further developed the concept towards manufacturing. BPO worked on simulation and optimization of the design.
It combines the functionality of a scoop stretcher and a wheelchair. With a patented mechanism, it easily switches between scoop and wheelchair. In a matter of seconds. When folded flat, it’s as thin as a regular scoop stretcher. Because of that, it fits into existing ambulance compartments.
Research of work environment of paramedics
This project started with a broad exploration of the work environment of ambulance personnel. What physical loads are paramedics exposed to? Is it possible to develop tools to make their work lighter? We’ve observed and spoken with several ambulance paramedics, healthcare managers and other experts to deeply understand the problems that they encounter.
Heavy stretchers and other equipment
In our research, it became clear that traditional manual stretchers in ambulances were more and more replaced by electrical stretchers. But often, paramedics seem to leave these heavy powered stretchers (60 kg and up) in the ambulance, because most of their patients are still quite mobile. In those cases, the paramedics need to carry all their equipment (around 35 kg).
Also, the research showed that literally every ambulance contains a scoop stretcher. These scoop stretchers are used to lift patients up from the ground. For example when they’re unconscious. These scoop stretchers are rarely used, but take up a lot of space in the vehicle.
Scoop stretcher + lightweight wheelchair
The combination of a scoop stretcher with a lightweight wheelchair proved to be the most promising direction. It has three functions. First, paramedics can use it as a cart to wheel equipment to the emergency site. Second, they can take less injured patients back on wheelchair mode. And third, it can be used as normal scoop stretcher in case of heavier injuries.
Innovative mechanism folds fast and flat
During the design process, we were inspired by many other smart designs, such as folding chairs, the Ruxxac cart and the Caterpillar Scoop.
To reach ultimate flatness and folding speed, we invented an innovative patented mechanism. It quickly transforms the wheelchair into a scoop stretcher and back. In just a few seconds. It folds to a very flat package, so that it fits in existing storage space for scoops in ambulances.
Rigid and safe mechanism
The mechanism is rigid in scoop mode, so that patients can be safely scooped from the ground. And it’s rigid in wheelchair mode, so that patients can be safely transported to the ambulance. The Multi Scoop Pro can also transport medical equipment to the emergency site.
Positive feedback and further development
First market feedback is positive. The Multi Scoop Pro is currently being further developed.
Studio Rotor’s involvement: strategic design, user research, ergonomic studies, idea and concept development, concept engineering, prototype design and building, CAD modeling.
Client (external link):
Retter Helfer Medical
Design + engineering:
Simulation + optimization: