At the EMS State of the Sciences Conferences, held in Dallas, Texas, I saw a new innovation in patient transportation: the Ferno Integrated Patient Transport and Loading System (iN/X).
The iN/X is the first of its kind: a powered self-loading stretcher. Watching it being put through its paces at the conference was astounding. Everyone in the room knew they were looking at the next big thing in EMS.
The iN/X has elegant, futuristic lines and a slick tricolor paint scheme. The legs look like a robotic hover-cot of the future or something seen in a science fiction movie. Both the sides and critical area under the front wheels are illuminated.
The iN/X’s biggest update is an independent operator control of the front and rear wheels. This lets the stretcher support the patient during every phase of loading and unloading. Gone is the need to support the end of the stretcher while the entire undercarriage goes up or down. Instead, the stretcher has load support wheels under the center of the frame which provide weight support during transitions.
Ferno demonstrated at the show how smoothly the stretcher handles little obstacles like a curb. The transition from one surface to another of different height is almost effortless.
The iN/X has better ergonomics and advanced functionality. Back injuries are a major cause of lost man-hours and career productivity. The iN/X will reduce repetitive load stresses on staff. It also dramatically reduces jarring to a patient.
The entire system was also designed to be safer in a crash, and meets the safety requirements of tomorrow in multiple countries. This will allow broader adoption and extend useful field life.
You also won’t need to change batteries. The iN/X’s power management system is built into the mounting system. It charges the batteries on the stretcher whenever it is loaded and in contact with the mount.
All these features taken together will change how EMS providers do their job and extend how long they can do it.