The inspiration for Movi began, as innovations often do, with personal stories. Will Ferniany, PhD., is the CEO of UAB Health System, one of the four largest academic medical centers in the US. Based on his experience in senior leadership with several of the largest medical centers in the country, Dr. Ferniany recognized that there had to be a better way to transport patients with greater comfort and improved safety for both patients and staff.
Lloyd Cooper is the lead industrial designer behind the development of Movi. Seven years ago, his elderly father was forced by age to use a wheelchair to maintain his mobility. The experience was heartrending and all too common. Lloyd explains, "When I began working with Dr. Ferniany, we put together an advisory team ranging from key hospital administrators to transport team members. Our design team shadowed the staff experts, asked thousands of questions and went through numerous designs.
Creating the first production design was a multi-year process of prototype design evolution. The turning point came in developing the patented Powered Assist Lift (PAL). By having the chair mimic the biomechanics of standing up from a seated position, and by integrating PAL so that assistance was always there when staff needed it most, we solved a number of critical problems.
From there we refined the design continually until we arrived at the design we’re offering today. My only regret is that my father never had the opportunity to use it. I have spent a good bit of time studying optimal posture and the benefits of changing position over time through a range of design projects - from office furniture to automotive seating. I sit in an Aeron chair in my office. Whenever I have the need to work for an extended period, I grab my laptop and sit in my Movi. It is THAT comfortable."
In the 3 minute video here, Dr. Ferniany explains how this effort started.