Imagine for a minute that you’ve been transported back to the early 1870s.
Modern medicine doesn’t really exist yet, at least not how we know it today. In the United States, doctors on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line are reflecting on the more than 60,000 amputations they performed in typically unsanitary conditions. French biologist Louis Pasteur is trailblazing some of our earliest vaccines, having recently disproved the now absurd notion of spontaneous generation of bacteria, and the first female American doctors are leading the way for women in medicine.
It was also about this time that the first designated surgeons’ chairs hit the market and forever changed the way patients receive care. Born in an era of new medical advancements both in practice and technology, these early chairs were a small revolution unto themselves. While patients were often wary of being strapped into an intimidating surgical table, they were far more amenable to sitting in a chair for an exam before the physician casually lowered them into a reclined position.
Medical historians say that aesthetic appeal was on the mind of doctors even back then. Before the introduction of medicine to pop culture — this was before ER and Grey’s Anatomy, after all — surgeons found they had an easier time comforting patients in the chair when it looked like a simple piece of parlor furniture.
As Dr. J. Marion Sims, an early leader of gynecological surgery, would say in 1873, a good chair was “really no better than a common table; but any patient would sit in the chair without nervous agitation, while some become greatly alarmed at being requested to mount a table.”
Dr. Sims went on to share his view that it was important for young doctors to spend time “educating their patients to feel that everything is being done that delicacy and propriety require on an occasion so trying to a sensitive nature,” a somewhat put-upon way to say that doctors knew even back in 1873 that it was vital to make sure the patient was kept comfortable and at-ease to help procedures go more smoothly.
This mindset has never gone out of fashion. In fact, the observations of Dr. Sims were keenly prescient as we now consider a world where a gentle touch is valued as key to the future of medicine while the field is being reshaped by advanced technology.
Of course, in the day of Dr. Sims, the surgeons’ chair was a simple contraption made of wood and iron. Patients would sit in the chair and push it to recline with their own body weight in a process we can’t imagine to be very smooth or — compared to modern standards — all too comfortable.
Jump back to now and we find a much different situation in which the modern exam/procedure chair as designed by MTI is loaded with more technology than these early surgeons could have imagined. We often speak to the comfort and ease of motion of these chairs as they not only recline but hit every point a care provider could need as they complete procedures that require a great deal of precision and control.
But the high-tech approach isn’t limited to our low voltage efficiencies and power lift systems. Take our 830 series chairs as an example of the ways we pack in safety features to give even more peace of mind to your MTI experience. These patented features include a Safe Swivel mechanism for our ADA-compliant pivoting base; our ComfortSync platform that coordinates your chair’s motors for the ultimate in smooth handling; and last but certainly not least, our SmartTech unit, a central computer system that ties everything together for a seamless user experience.
SmartTech is how we elevate these chairs beyond the already high potential of their hardware. This computer combines our Smart Controller and Smart Safety systems so that a physician or staff member can rely on a little training and intuition to easily use the chair without having to understand just how much serious tech is under the surface. By centralizing functions under SmartTech, our computers make these chairs safer and more energy efficient while adding enhanced user options.
Many of the SmartTech duties are similar to involuntary bodily functions. Thanks to the computing system, your chair knows to ease into motion, taking the edge off otherwise sharp starts and stops. It also knows that it needs to stay in safe positions, preventing any unexpected or unplanned movements, and that it should go into sleep mode after 60 minutes of disuse.
Needless to say, we’ve come a long way since the advent of exam/procedure chairs more than a century ago. Not only have we done away with the materials of old, giving you the most durable and hygienic steel and upholstery, we’ve also redesigned the inner workings to make them truly intelligent, making your office even smarter in the process.
We think Dr. Sims would be amazed by the capabilities of an MTI chair, and we think you will be too. Contact us today to learn more about our deep roster of products and request a demonstration!