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Permobil Blog / February 19, 2019

Smart Evaluation App: FAQs


Part 4 in our Smart Evaluation App blog series. See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.


The Smart Evaluation app is a one stop resource for the therapist or ATP when considering power assist for a client. Once you sign in, you will have 4 Sections to choose from: 

Section 1:

Device Overview

Section 2:


Section 3:

Clinical Tools

Section 4:


Today we're moving on to the fourth section: FAQs.

Section 4: Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve spent the past several weeks walking through the Smart Evaluation App. This last section provides commonly asked questions that can be selected to provide the clinician with the appropriate answers. Having the answers at your fingertips can save time and allow for efficient problem solving to get through a SmartDrive evaluation or daily use. Let’s take a look at the most frequently asked questions.


Why isn’t my SmartDrive engaging?

Generally, you should check the following:

  1. Is your SmarDrive powered on?
  2. Is your PushTracker in “SD On” mode-the blue light should be flashing.
  3. Are you in MX2+ mode- a double tap will engage the motor. If youa re in MX 2 mode, a push on the hand rim will engage the motor.


Can my SmartDrive slow me down?

Unfortunately, no. The SmartDrive is incapable of providing any braking for your chair. This means that after you turn on the motor you will need to manually grab the hand-rims and bring your chair to a stop. This also means that your SmartDrive cannot slow you down going down a ramp or a hill.


Do I need to re-pair my PushTracker to my SmartDrive?

No, the only time you need to re-pair your PushTracker to your SmartDrive is after performing an over-the-air (OTA) update. After doing that the PushTracker will automatically go into pairing mode when you try to connect or turn “SD On”.


Why won't my PushTracker connect to my phone?

If you are using Android then it might be because the phone has saved the pairing information-which will prevent the PushTracker from establishing a solid connection. To fix this, simply open your phone’s Bluetooth settings menu and tap “Forget” on the PushTracker that shows up on that menu. Once you have done that, re-start the Smart Evaluation app and the PushTracker should be able to reliably connect- without needing to re-pair the phone.


How can I make the SmartDrive safe for children?

The SmartDrive is safe for children to use, but we do recommend the best way to ensure safety is to train them on proper tapping and braking techniques. Moreover, we have included the ability to limit the max speed of the SmartDrive (from 0.5 miles per hour to 5.5 miles per hour) as well as the acceleration rate of the SmartDrive. For someone who is just learning to push or to use a SmartDrive we recommend setting both very low.

*With the new Smart Evaluation App, you can do this directly from the app!


Why should I want a SmartDrive?

You should be active and able to go out into the world! With pushing however, unlike the general advice with walking (where people cannot walk too much), people CAN push too much! If you push too much then you will be more likely to get pain and injury in your arms and shoulders, which may limit your independence. With the SmartDrive you are still able to push around in your chair as you normally would, but you can now go farther and faster with less effort! Use it when you need to get somewhere fast or up a big hill- don’t kill your shoulders if you don’t have to! Enjoy your journey with your SmartDrive!



Now that we’ve walked through all sections of the Smart Evaluation app you should be ready to get started! If you’d like more information, or someone to talk to please reach out to your Permobil regional education manager. And we hope to hear success stories of clients using SmartDrive to improve their daily lives!


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Stacey Mullis.jpgStacey Mullis, OTR/ATP
Director of Clinical Marketing

Stacey serves as Director of Clinical Marketing for Permobil. A practicing OTR for over 20 years, she has experience in school-based pediatrics, inpatient rehabilitation, long term care, and home health. With her interest in wheelchair seating and positioning, Stacey engaged the challenges of providing appropriate seating in various clinical settings. She now uses this experience to develop programs and resources to educate clinicians on the principles of seating and wheeled mobility. She is passionate about equipping clinicians and through her previous role as Director of Clinical Education with Comfort Company and now with Permobil she has taught nationally and internationally to increase therapist capacity in this specialty area. Mullis graduated from Western University in London, Ontario, Canada with a BA Linguistics and BSc Occupational Therapy. She is a member of the NCOTA, CTF Executive Board, NRRTs, RESNA, and AOTA.


Curtis-Merring_WebClinicalCurtis A. Merring, ORT, MOT
Director of Market Development, Manual Products

Curtis A. Merring, OTR, MOT received both his undergraduate psychology degree and masters in occupational therapy at the University of Pittsburgh. While at university he was involved in research on multiple studies dealing with psychosocial disorders, wheelchair seating, and neurological recovery of the upper extremity for stroke patients. As an occupational therapist and researcher for the past 9 years he was responsible for treating and investigating spinal cord injury and stroke. This included being awarded multiple small grants and coordinating research projects between the clinic and local universities. Curtis has also worked as a Director of Therapy Services in the geriatric setting including opening and managing rehabilitation departments at multiple locations. During his time as a director he developed a program called “Seating System Management in Skilled Nursing Facilities and Long Term Care”, that was a continuing education course he taught to facilities in both Texas and California. The goal of the course was to improve the seating systems of a very underserved population. Curtis is currently the Director of Market Development, Manual Products.

Categories: Complex Rehab, Power Assist

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