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AssiStep installed in nursing home - Created a living for themselves

The AssiStep-team in 2017
The AssiStep-team in 2017
Estimated reading time 4 min. Published 23.08.2018
TRONDHEIM/AURE: Trondheim, Norway’s technology capital, is a hotbed of young entrepreneurs. Last wednesday, the AssiStep was installed in Aure nursing home. An aid to make stair walking easier. (This is a translation based on an article by Ivar Torset, originally published in Nordvestnytt on March 16, 2017.)
Coincidence

Who doesn’t have thoughts of inventing something, or creating one’s own company. Most leave it at the thought. However, if one has staying ability and perseverance, dreams can become reality.

The three students Halvor Wold, Ingrid Lonar and Eirik Medbø were all studying to become engineers.

  • “Somewhat coincidentally, and we didn’t know each other from before. We came across a report of how many people die after falling in stairs. All three of us had grandparents who were a bit frail with regards to walking stairs. To make a long story short, the discussion around there being 30,000 injuries after stair falls each year, led to us considering inventing a product to address this problem,” says Halvor Wold, who is originally from Troms.
Stay active and independent in your own home with the stair walker AssiStep
AssiStep when descending the stairs
Hepro

They agreed to keep working on this, and they eagerly started developing prototypes to make stair walking easier. In 2014, the work had come far enough that the trio went out to find external investors.

  • “We raised enough money to start producing, and after a time we were taken in by Hepro,” says Wold, explaining how there was trial and error during the process.
  • “After about five or six prototypes, we felt like we had a product that met the target.”

The product they made was named AssiStep, and is now available all across Norway. Everything produced by those who originally envisioned being engineers.

Easy to use

The AssiStep is easy to use, and it only requires installing a rail system along the stairway.

  • “We’ve seen that the AssiStep is a contribution to more people being able to live at home for longer, and that it’s effective with regards to preventing stair falls. The system is easy to use. You push a handle forward step by step on the way up and down, and the handle stands firm all the while. Along the entire stairs, the individual user is fully in control, and if you’re unfortunate enough to lose balance, you always have something to hold on to,” explains Halvor Wold of the product they’ve developed themselves.
Stair climbing aid AssiStep at Nordtun rehabilitation center
Stair climbing aid AssiStep at Nordtun rehabilitation center
A county's first

Aure nursing home is the first place in Møre og Romsdal to have this system installed. This took place last wednesday, where they demonstrated the AssiStep after it was in place.

  • “The AssiStep simultaneously enables activity and contributes to maintaining the individual’s level of functioning,” explains entrepreneur Halvor Wold on the phone from Trondheim.

Well received

Everyone in Norway who could use an aid like this can apply for one through their local NAV Assistive Technology Center, or contact an occupational or physical therapist.

  • “This is something that’s available all over the country. Getting it in place costs about 25,000 kroner, but those who have a need for it get it covered,” says Wold, who also says there are now four people making a living from this.
  • “We do development and production, while Hepro take care of the chain of distribution. We recently launched our product in the Netherlands and Sweden, and we have great faith in the AssiStep. We were very well received in Aure nursing home, the first place to get one in Møre og Romsdal,” says Wold, who also admits things haven’t always been easy since the idea was conceived in a student apartment in 2012.
  • “You can easily lose motivation when things don’t go your way, but together we have persevered, and feel like we now see the fruits of our labor. We’re very proud of our product, and what we have achieved.”

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AssiStep information video

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