‘MuV’-ing Patients within a Hospital

Chris Newmarker

Made by CEGA Innovations LLC (Sioux Falls, SD), the MuV patient transfer system is lightweight and ergonomically designed to not only reduce patient stress but also lessen the burden for hospital workers during patient transfer.

A finalist in the Medical Design Excellence Awards, it reduces workplace injuries and increases efficiencies and reimbursement criteria. (Entry submitted by and supply and design credit to Kablooe Design of Blaine, MN.)

"It was a challenge to design a device that was not simply better than existing technologies; it had to be significantly better and cost-effective," said Aaron Emerson, CEGA Innovations' president.

MuV Patient Transfer System
The MuV patient transfer can help reduce costly injuries stemming from moving patients in a clinical setting.

CEGA had the basic concept behind the device when it approached Kablooe more than a year ago, said Matthew Rust, director of product development at Kablooe. Versus other methods such as using the sheets underneath the patient, sliding a plastic board underneath the sheets, or using balloons to help ease a bed transfer, CEGA's device would employ rollers. It would be partially slid under the patient's torso and lower back, and then a clean absorbent sheet stuck on the belt and rollers would be pulled to move the patient across the MuV and onto the new bed.

What Kablooe was able to do was employ its industrial design and materials know-how to ensure it could be easily assembled in a plant and easily used and maintained in a medical setting. The MuV needed to weigh less than 15 pounds so that a nurse or other health staff person could easily carry it around, but it had to be able to withstand the weight of a 300-pound patient if need be.

Rust says Kablooe turned to computer modeling to design the MuV's aluminum frame and supports in much the same way that an engineer designs a modern bridge, to channel weight and stress so that the frame could be as minimal as it could be while supporting the most weight possible.

Medical Design Excellence Awards winners will be honored at a June 11 awards ceremony to be held at MD&M East, June 9-12 in New York City.

Another engineering challenge involved the belt material, which had to be sticky and waterproof on the outside to provide grip, but sleek on the inside so that the belt would easily move. Kablooe settled on a sleek nylon fabric that could be coated with an adhesive polyurethane coating on the outside. The metal back underneath the rollers and belt is painted with a sleek powder coat material that allows the belt to continue to slide by. Lines are also painted on the belt so that medical staff can easily line up the sheet when sticking it on the belt.

Another Kablooe idea involved placing handles on each side of the belt and rollers so that they can easily be popped out of the frame for cleaning. The belt itself can then be slid off the rollers and replaced.

"There are just so many parts and pieces that have to act as a system ... a lot of considerations," Rust said.

Chris Newmarker is senior editor of MPMN and Qmed. Follow him on Twitter at @newmarker.