There is finally an exam table designed specifically with people with disabilities in mind: the UpScale!
The design is game-changing. To start with, the table looks a bit like a large reclining flat-backed chair. The bottom lowers down to 17 inches — right about the same height as a wheelchair cushion — so that we can transfer over to the table easily without the need to be lifted. Once transferred, a motor can raise the table up to the doctor’s level and it can be laid down flat for exams.
The UpScale even has a built-in scale!
Many people with disabilities haven’t been officially weighed at their doctor’s office in years and certainly don’t do it on the regular, so this is a big deal for staying healthy and tracking our health. This innovative design — and the table itself — won’t just let us see the doctor and be weighed better. It will help us live much healthier lives.
Accessible Exam Tables are a HUGE Need
The UpScale is manufactured by Medical Accessibility, a women-owned company based out of Scottsdale, Arizona. Halle Farber, the company CEO, said the product was inspired by seeing the problem of inaccessible doctors’ tables and hearing plenty of stories. “We were engaged as accessibility consultants when we began noticing barriers in medical facilities and an uptick in ADA-related lawsuits,” she said through a company article. “We recognized a huge gap between the intent of the law and the reality on the ground. All too often, a wheelchair could make it through the door of the facility, but the user couldn’t make it onto the exam table or weight scale.”
This was creating a load of problems. people weren’t able to be properly weighed or fully seen, there were falls and injuries during transfers, and staff were also worried about getting hurt if they helped people move on to conventional tables. This all led to a major drop in the quality of care itself.
The UpScale team cited a survey by the Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council of several hundred people with disabilities, which found that:
- • One out of five report being injured because of inaccessible equipment or facilities.
- • More than half say their doctors skip exams because of a lack of accessible equipment.
- • 68 percent of wheelchair users say they are examined in their devices rather than on an exam table like other patients.
- • 71 percent of those who cannot stand are asked to guess their own weight because of a lack of accessible scales.
- • More than 70 percent have not had their height measured for years.
Many of these problems can be fixed with a smarter exam table with a built-in scale – exactly what the UpScale provides. The Medical Accessibility team believes the product will lead to higher quality doctors’ visits with better tracking of health, weight and more. They also hope that people with disabilities will feel more comfortable going to the doctor’s office in the first place, helping them stay on top of their health and well-being.
It is also a matter of legal rights and equality.
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires equal access to services and facilities — and medical care should be right at the top of that list. Virginie Polster, chief marketing officer at Medical Accessibility, notes that equal access in the medical world is part of her company’s mission: “We’ve made a commitment that every product we put in the marketplace will improve the experience of people with disabilities. We’re determined to leave the world a better place, one medical exam at a time.”
The company states that “the UpScale is made in the USA, available in 20 upholstery colors and ships by white glove service within four to six weeks. Accessibility tax credits are available to help reduce the cost for medical practices that qualify.”