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ROHO Co-Authored Study finds that Air-Cell-Based Cushions Counteract the Increased Risk of Pressure Ulcers of Overweight, Diabetic Chronic Sitters

ST. LOUIS, March 3, 2016 – A research team, in partnership with a director from ROHO Inc., a division of Permobil, recently completed a study that determined air-cell-based cushions, such as ROHO cushions, counteract the increased risk of pressure ulcers that comes from obesity and diabetes. The study was peer-reviewed and published in the January 2016 issue of Journal of Ostomy Wound Management.

Kara Kopplin, senior director of efficacy research at ROHO, Inc., co-authored the study with Professor Amit Gefen and his Ph.D. student, Ayelet Levy, from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

The team’s previous research explored the biomechanical interactions of the seated body and wheelchair cushion surface, demonstrating the importance of a cushion that is suitably adjustable to immerse and envelop the body. The aim of this study was to evaluate the combined risk factor of obesity and diabetes in patients who are chronic sitters, either in chairs or in wheelchairs.

Among the key findings in the study:

  • As fat mass increased, so did the muscle stresses and strains near the Ischial Tuberosities (ITs, or “sit bones”) along with the skin stresses, in both the non-diabetic and diabetic tissues;
  • When simulated as seated on the air-cell-based cushion, these tissue stresses, even in the most obese simulations with diabetes (“worst-case patients”), were a fraction of the stresses reported in the literature for non-obese, non-diabetic simulated subjects (“best case patients”) seated on foam.

These results demonstrate that even though people who are obese and diabetic have a greatly increased risk of life-threatening pressure ulcers, these risks can be significantly reduced by using an air-cell based cushion, such as ROHO.

“Studies like this are proof that our products are backed by an unmatched level of clinical evidence from leading researchers. Permobil and ROHO are committed to continuing this innovative research in 2016,” said Tom Borcherding, president of ROHO Inc.

Read more about this ground-breaking discovery in the Journal of Ostomy Wound Management:
Levy, A., K. Kopplin, and A. Gefen. “A Computer Modeling Study to Evaluate the Potential Effect of Air Cell-based Cushions on the Tissues of Bariatric and Diabetic Patients.” Ostomy/wound management 62.1 (2016): 22-30.

About Permobil:
ROHO, a business unit of Permobil, has been committed to enhancing the lives of the physically challenged for over 40 years. Founded in Sweden, Permobil has its North American headquarters in Lebanon, Tennessee. Permobil acquired ROHO, the global leader in skin protection and positioning solutions for wheelchair users, in March 2015 and TiLite, a leading manufacturer of innovative and customized manual wheelchairs, in May 2014. More information regarding Permobil’s storied history and complete product line may be obtained at


Media Contact:
Dan Hughes
Director of Marketing

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