Assistive Dining Solutions for Self-Initiated Functional Eating
Obi is a first of its kind, revolutionary dining device for individuals who lack upper extremity function. Obi gives the diner control over food selection and delivery by automating the motion of a human arm during eating and increases independence, social interaction, and effective food capturing like never before.
Diners should possess the ability to safely, and successfully, operate Obi as well as the ability to chew and swallow without assistance.
Individuals living with the following conditions may be ideal candidates for Obi:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Essential Tremor
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Other conditions impairing upper extremity motor control
- Dysphagia, unless Obi is indicated by an experienced physician or therapist and considered safe.
- Serious problems with chewing. In this case, Obi can be used if the food is prepared to an appropriate consistency.
- Inability to operate any Accessibility Switch such as a Buddy Button or Sip and Puff.
- Inability to maintain a sufficiently upright position.
- Insufficient head control to receive and swallow food offered by Obi.
- Inability to understand the correct use of the device.
- Open mouth sores (e.g. cuts, ulcers, bleeding, recent oral surgery)
- Injured skin on the area of the body used to activate switches or that makes contact with Obi.
Conducting appointments via Telehealth due to COVID-19 restrictions?
Features and Functionality
EFFECTIVE FOOD CAPTURE
Obi’s patented features, including multi-directional foo capture, portion control, spoon wiping, and food re-positioning, allow for optimal and efficient food delivery.
Operated by accessibility switches, Obi is controlled by any part of the body that can activate the switch. Obi even works with Sip-and-Puff attachments!
CUSTOMIZED DELIVERY POSITION
Obi allows the caregiver to tailor the food delivery location for each diner in seconds. This makes Obi customizable for different seating positions and table heights.
LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE
At 7 pounds, Obi comes equipped with a rechargeable lithium ion battery, making it perfect to pack up and eat on the go!
Obi User Setup Guide
Informational Flyer for Diners
Informational Flyer for Clinicians
Obi User Manual
Device Evaluations and California Funding
If a diner is interested in submitting for funding, a clinician should be involved in a formal evaluation of Obi for the purposes of gathering clinical data and composing the Letter of Medical Necessity (if necessary for that funding source). Clinicians can request a free 14-day facility trial to help facilitate this evaluation.
We are pleased to offer the option of submitting for funding or reimbursement through a variety of payers through our partnership DME companies across the state. Funding may be available through CCS, Medi-Cal, Veterans Administration, or Private Insurance.
A successful submission requires an Obi demonstration under the observation of a clinician in addition to the appropriate medical documentation for that funding source. (For example, private insurance plans may require a Letter of Medical Necessity, Doctor’s prescription, etc.)
Stage One: Evaluation
- Request and receive an Obi trial device.[Clinician]
- Schedule patient evaluation. [Clinician]
- Document the Obi evaluation and gather clinical details. [Clinician]
- Submit completed insurance intake form to Obi Customer Experience representative [Clinician or Patient]
Stage Two: Medical Documentation**
- Compose a Letter of Medical Necessity [Clinician]
- Obtain a doctor’s prescription for the device (if required by the insurance company) [Clinician]
- Submit these documents to the assigned ATP or insurance Funding Specialist*** [Clinician]
Stage Three: Funding Approval
- Funding specialist will submit all necessary payer documents. [DME Company]
- After NSM receives notification of the approval/denial, your ATP will contact the patient to discuss the next steps. [DME Company]
* Clinician trials are available on a first come, first serve basis. While we aim to ship trial units within two-weeks, the actual ship date is subject to availability. Please contact your Obi Customer Experience representative for an approximate lead time.
** The length of the Medical Documentation stage is dependent on the time it takes for the physician/clinician to compose and submit the appropriate documents.
*** After we receive the completed intake form, you will be assigned a funding specialist from a local DME company. Please note that these companies are not direct representatives of Obi. While we strive to provide excellent customer support, you may need to contact your DME representative for specific questions related to the insurance submission process. If at any time you need additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact your Obi Customer Experience Representative.
Letter of Medical Necessity Guidelines
The following information should be gathered and documented for funding sources that require a signed Letter of Medical Necessity:
- Physician Name
- Clinic Name
- Phone Number
- Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Phone Number
- Height and Weight
- Living Environment
- Insurance Provider
- Insurance ID Number
- Insurance Group number
- Specific Diagnosis and Onset (Letters containing only a list of symptoms will not qualify)
- Summary of Medical History
- Previous therapies the client has received for their condition
- Cognitive and Verbal Abilities
- Functional Abilities
- Motor Skills
- Physical Strength and Endurance
- Functional Limits
- Ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) specific to eating
Obi Demonstration Information
- Date and location of demonstration
- Summary of demonstration and information regarding the successful operation of the device
There are many health and psychological benefits to independently dining with Obi. Multiple studies indicate that independent dining improves quality of life, independence and freedom. Additionally, individuals who depend upon others for feeding may be at a higher risk of developing medical complications, such as Aspiration Pneumonia and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
 Mandy, A., Sims, T., Stew, G., & Onions, D. (2018). Brief Report—Manual feeding device experiences of people with a neurodisability. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72, 1–5. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2018.025353
 Susan E. Langmore, PhD, Margaret S. Terpenning, MD, Anthony Schork, PhD, Yinmiao Chen, MS, Joseph T. Murray, MA, Dennis Lopatin, PhD, and Walter J. Loesche, DMD, PhD. (1998). Predictors of Aspiration Pneumonia: How Important is Dysphagia?. Dysphagia 13:69-81.
 Wildi SM, Tutuian R, Castell DO. (2004). The influence of rapid food intake on postprandial reflux: studies in healthy volunteers. Am J Gastroenterol. 2004 Sep;99(9): 1645-51.