(19)
(11)EP 3 412 270 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
12.12.2018 Bulletin 2018/50

(21)Application number: 17174987.2

(22)Date of filing:  08.06.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61G 13/06(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD

(71)Applicant: Enraf-Nonius B.V.
3047 AT Rotterdam (DE)

(72)Inventors:
  • VAN GRONINGEN, Johannis
    3047 AT Rotterdam (NL)
  • VAN LEEUWEN, Alexander Adrianus
    3047 AT Rotterdam (NL)

(74)Representative: De Vries & Metman 
Overschiestraat 180
1062 XK Amsterdam
1062 XK Amsterdam (NL)

  


(54)A TREATMENT TABLE


(57) A treatment table (1), comprising:
- a height adjustable frame (3);
- a treatment bed (11) supported by the frame;
- an actuator (9) for moving the frame between an upper position and a lower position;
- at least one control handle (13);
- at least one sensor (17), such as a load cell, for detecting actuation of the control handle; and
- a control unit (16) for receiving a signal from the sensor and controlling the actuator (9) in response to the signal. The control handle can for example be a foot control frame (13) extending along the full outline of treatment table and suspended from the frame by a plurality of suspension elements, such as elastic or damping elements (20), e.g., rubber dampers.




Description


[0001] The present invention relates to a treatment table, e.g., a treatment table for therapeutic treatment with adjustable height.

[0002] US 2014/0331409 discloses a therapeutic treatment table comprising a platform for supporting a patient and a frame to which the platform is mounted. The frame is adapted for movement of the platform between a lowered and raised position. A plurality of pairs of up and down switches are provided at various locations around the table and operatively connected to a drive motor. The switches can be mounted on the front side, rear side and opposite lateral sides of the treatment table.

[0003] An object of the invention is to provide a treatment table which is easier to operate.

[0004] This object is accomplished with a treatment table, which comprises:
  • a height adjustable frame;
  • a treatment bed supported by the frame;
  • an actuator for moving the frame between an upper position and a lower position;
  • a control handle;
  • at least one sensor for detecting actuation of the control handle; and
  • a control unit for receiving a signal from the sensor and controlling the actuator in response to the signal.


[0005] By controlling the actuator via a sensor, there is no direct mechanical actuation by a user. This allows to configure the height adjustment control in a very user friendly way.

[0006] The one or more sensors can for example include one or more load sensors, such as load cells and/or strain gauges.

[0007] Optionally, the control handle can be linked to the one or more load cells by means of one or more elastic elements, such as a spring, e.g., one spring per load cell. The elastic element preloads the load cell. The pretension causes the load cell to generate an output signal representing a zero point for the position of the actuator. Movement of the control handle is translated into a change of the output signal. Pushing the control handle down will result in an increased output signal, while lifting the control handle will result in a reduced output signal. This change of output signal can be translated by the control unit to control signals controlling the actuator. For example, pushing the control handle down may result in a control signal triggering the actuator to lift the treatment bed, while lifting the control handle will result in a control signal triggering the actuator to lower the treatment bed. Alternatively, pushing the control handle down may result in a control signal triggering the actuator to lower the treatment bed, while lifting the control handle will result in a control signal triggering the actuator to lift the treatment bed. When the control handle is released, it will return to the starting position, while the treatment bed stays in the lifted or lowered position until the control handle is actuated again.

[0008] The change of the load cell's output signal is proportional to the travel distance of the control handle. Optionally, in a specific exemplary embodiment, the proportionality of the output signal can be used to configure the control unit to power the actuator proportionally to a load exerted to the control handle by an operator and/or proportional to a distance of displacement by the control handle. For instance, a higher load or a larger displacement of the control handle may result in a faster height adjustment of the treatment table. In a simpler embodiment, the treatment bed is always lifted or lower with the same speed, independent from the load exerted to the load cell.

[0009] The suspension of the control handle from the frame can for example further comprise damping elements in parallel arrangement with the resilient element supporting the load cell. The damping elements may for example be rubber elements or elements of a rubber-like material, e.g., cylindrical or non-cylindrical vibration dampers. For instance, an extended control handle, such as a bar, e.g. a foot control bar, can be suspended from the frame by a plurality of such vibration dampers and by one or more load cells. The dampers are at a distance from the one or more load cells and have a stiffness exceeding the stiffness of the spring element, so the movement of the actuator is determined by the resistance of the dampers and not by the resistance of the spring elements. Such a suspension of the control handle makes it possible that movement of the control handle at any point of the control handle is detected accurately by the load cell.

[0010] Optionally, the frame has a base to be placed on a floor, e.g., a single foot or a set of feet, optionally provided with retractable wheels.

[0011] The control handle may for example be a foot control bar to be operated by a user's foot.

[0012] The control handle may for example be a bar extending substantially horizontally along at least one side of the frame, e.g., extending along all the full contour of the frame, e.g. at foot level allowing foot control. This enables an operator to adjust the table height regardless of the operator's position. The operator can push or lift the control bar equally from all sides of the treatment table.

[0013] In a specific embodiment the control handle is a rectangular foot control bar accessible from all sides of the treatment bed, suspended centrally to a stationary part of the treatment bed by means of the load sensor and the resilient element, and suspended at or near the corners by means of the dampers, e.g., at least one damper per corner.

[0014] Furthermore, a treatment table is disclosed, comprising a height adjustable frame, a treatment bed supported by the frame, an actuator for moving the frame between an upper position and a lower position, and a control handle extending substantially horizontally along at least one side of the frame, e.g., extending along the full contour of the frame, e.g. as a rectangular frame. The control handle may be a foot control bar. The control handle may be suspended from the frame by means of damping elements, e.g., of a rubber or a rubber-like material, e.g., as discussed above.

[0015] The invention is elucidated with reference to the accompanying schematic drawings showing embodiments of the invention by way of example.

Fig. 1 shows in side view an exemplary embodiment of a treatment table in a lowered position;

Fig. 2 shows the treatment table of Figure 1 in side view in an upper position;

Fig. 3 shows the treatment table of Figure 1 in bottom view;

Fig. 4 shows a suspension of the control bar of the treatment table in Figure 1;

Fig. 5 shows the section of Figure 4 in top view;

Fig. 6 shows the stationary frame base with the foot control bar of the treatment bed of Figure 1 in bottom view;

Fig. 7 shows a cross section along line VII - VII in Figure 6;

Fig. 8 shows a cross section along line VIII - VIII in Figure 6;

Fig. 9 shows a cross section along line IX - IX in Figure 6;

Fig. 10 shows in detail a cylindrical damper suspending the foot control bar of the treatment table of Figure 1.



[0016] Figure 1 shows an exemplary embodiment of a treatment table 1. The treatment table 1 comprises a frame 3 with a stationary base 5 and a height adjustable foldable support 7, an actuator 9 for moving the height adjustable support 7 between an upper position (shown in Figure 2) and a lower position (shown in Figure 1). Figure 1 shows the lower position. The treatment table 1 also comprises a bed 11 for carrying a person to be treated.

[0017] A rectangular foot control bar 13 extends along the full contour of the treatment table 1 at a distance below the bed 11 to enable foot control by an operator. The rectangular foot control bar 13 comprises a central projection 12 suspended from the stationary base 5 of the frame 3 by means of a resilient element 14, such as a tensile spring (see Figure 3), in turn suspended from a control box 16 by means of a load cell 17. The control box 16 is programmed to receive output signals from the load cell 17 and to generate control signals for triggering the actuator 19.

[0018] Near its corners the foot control bar 13 is also suspended from the frame 5 by four cylindrical dampers 20, i.e. one damper 20 per corner, substantially symmetrically arranged relative to the load sensor. In other embodiments, other numbers of dampers can be used. These dampers have a stiffness exceeding the stiffness of the resilient element 14, so the movement of the control bar 13 is determined by the resistance of the dampers and not by the resistance of the resilient element 14. As a result movement of any point of the control bar 13 is detected accurately by the load cell 17. Actuation of the control bar 13 at any point will stress the load cell 17 and trigger the control unit 16 in the same manner.

[0019] In the shown exemplary embodiment the actuator 9 comprises an electric motor. The control box 16 communicates with the electric motor 9 via a signal conductor 19 (Figure 4). The control box 16 is configured to control the electric motor 9 in response to signals from the load cell 17 detecting actuation of the foot control bar 13. The electric motor 9 folds the support 7 to lower the bed 11 (Figure 1) or unfolds the support 7 to lift the bed 11 (Figure 2).

[0020] The load cell 17 is pre-tensioned by the spring 14 and the weight of the foot control bar 13. Pushing the foot control bar 13 enlarges the output signal of the load cell 17. Lifting the foot control bar 13 reduces the output signal of the load cell 17. Upon operating the foot control bar 13 the load cell 17 sends a signal to the control box 16. Lifting the foot control bar 13 results in a reduced output signal triggering the electric motor 9 to lower the bed 11. Pushing the foot control bar 13 down results in an amplified signal triggering the electric motor 9 to lift the bed 11.

[0021] Optionally, the control box 16 can be configured such that the powering of the actuator 9 is proportional to the actuation force exerted to the foot control bar 13. The output signal of the load cell 17 is proportional to the movement of the foot control bar 13: a larger travel distance by the foot control bar 13 results in a larger change of the output signal from the load cell 17. The control box 16 can be programmed to translate this to varying control signals to the electric motor 19. If an operator wishes to lift or lower the bed 3 faster, he may exert a higher actuation force to the foot control bar 6.

[0022] The spring 14 may be biased into a rest condition such that at that condition the actual load on the load cell 17 is a reference condition. Due to wear the reference condition may shift during lifetime, but the control box 16 can be configured such that it automatically corrects the reference condition when the treatment table 1 is in rest.

[0023] The embodiment shown in the drawings uses a single load sensor 17. Optionally, more than one load sensors may be used, e.g., to allow calculation of the actually exerted actuation force, regardless of the distance between the point of actuation and the load cell.

[0024] Figures 6 - 9 show the combination of the stationary frame base 5 and the foot control bar 13. The frame base 5 comprises two parallel supports 22, 23 with a larger front leg 24, a shorter rear leg 25 and an inclined section 26 bridging the top ends of the front and rear legs 24, 25. These inclined sections 26 are in turn bridged by a rear bar 27, a front bar 28 and a suspension plate 29 between the rear and front bars. The control box 16 is suspended from a lower side of the suspension plate 29, as is particularly shown in Figure 7.

[0025] The foot control bar 13 (see Figure 3) comprises a U-shaped front section 31 of a metal strip, a U-shaped rear section 32 of a metal strip, two parallel side bars 33, 34 extending between the front and rear sections 31, 32 and traverse sections 35, each traverse section connecting an outer end of the front or rear section to an outer end of the side bars 33, 34 so as to form a rectangular frame. A third bar 36 also connects the front and rear sections 31, 32 and is provided with the upward central projection 12 suspended from the load cell 17, as described above.

[0026] Figure 10 shows one of the cylindrical dampers 20 suspending the control bar 13. The damper 20 has one end 40 connected to the base frame 5 and an opposite second end 41 connected to a vertical lip 42 by means of a nut 43. The lip 42 has a lower end connected to the foot control bar 13 and a top end 44 bent under right angles. This bent top end 44 functions as a stop in cooperation with a lip 45 of the base frame 5. This limits downward movement of the foot control bar 13 relative to the base frame 5. Upward movement is limited by the frame 5 stopping the foot control bar 13.

[0027] It is noted that the drawings are schematic, not necessarily to scale and that details that are not required for understanding the present invention may have been omitted. The terms "upward", "downward", "below", "above", and the like relate to the embodiments as oriented in the drawings, unless otherwise specified.

[0028] The disclosure is not restricted to the above described embodiments which can be varied in a number of ways within the scope of the claims.


Claims

1. A treatment table (1), comprising:

- a height adjustable frame (3);

- a treatment bed (11) supported by the frame;

- an actuator (9) for moving the frame between an upper position and a lower position;

- at least one control handle (13);

- at least one sensor (17) for detecting actuation of the control handle; and

- a control unit (16) for receiving a signal from the sensor and controlling the actuator (9) in response to the signal.


 
2. A treatment table according to claim 1, wherein the at least one sensor includes at least one load cell (17).
 
3. A treatment table according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the at least one sensor is connected to the frame and the control handle (13) is connected to the sensor by means of an elastic element.
 
4. A treatment table according to any preceding claim, wherein the at least one control handle (13) is a control bar suspended from the frame by means of suspension elements, such as elastic or damping elements (20), e.g., of a rubber or rubber-like material.
 
5. A treatment table according to claim 4, wherein the damping elements include cylindrical rubber dampers (20).
 
6. A treatment table according to claim 4 or 5, wherein the frame (3) comprises a stationary base (5) and a height-adjustable support (7) supporting the bed (11), wherein the actuator is suspended from the stationary base.
 
7. A treatment table according to claim 6, wherein the at least one control bar includes at least one foot control bar (13).
 
8. A treatment table according to claim 7, wherein the at least one foot control bar (13) extends along one or more sides of the treatment table at a distance below the treatment platform.
 
9. A treatment table according to claim 8, wherein the at least one foot control bar (13) is a rectangular frame extending around a base of the frame.
 
10. A treatment table (1), comprising:

- a height adjustable frame (3);

- a treatment bed (11) supported by the frame;

- an actuator (9) for moving the frame between an upper position and a lower position;

- at least one control bar (13) suspended from the frame by a plurality of suspension elements, such as elastic or damping elements (20), e.g., rubber dampers.


 
11. A treatment table according to claim 10, wherein the at least one control bar includes a foot control bar (13) extending along at least one side, e.g. along the full outline of treatment table.
 
12. A treatment table according to claim 10 or 11, comprising at least one load cell (17) connected to the frame and a pre-tensioned elastic element extending between the load cell and the control bar, and a control unit for controlling the actuator in response to an output signal from the load cell.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description