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Wellsense Unveils First-Ever Bedside Patient Pressure Mapping System Designed to Assist Caregivers in Effectively Repositioning Patients

CHICAGO, May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- McCormick Place -- Wellsense USA, the pioneer of bedside smart textile technology, unveiled a breakthrough product at this year's National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition sponsored by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) held in Chicago, Illinois from May 2nd through May 5th, 2011.  The M.A.P. System (an acronym for Monitor, Alert and Protect) is the first-ever technology that helps take the guesswork out of repositioning non-ambulatory hospital patients and nursing home residents. There are an estimated 2.5 million new occurrences of pressure ulcers each year, with an estimated cost of treatment of more than $125,000 per instance.  The M.A.P. System is designed as a tool to assist caregivers in preventing pressure ulcers.  

By positioning a "smart" M.A.P. coverlet with built-in pressure sensors over a patient or resident sleep surface, the M.A.P. identifies areas of pressure and produces a color-coded, live image on an easy-to-read bedside monitor.  The System also monitors the buildup of pressure over time at preset intervals; it also alerts the caregivers when a periodic repositioning is due.

Hospitals and nursing homes across the nation increasingly battle the incidence of preventable ulcers with diminishing results.  It is estimated that 1 in 5 ICU patients develop a facility acquired (FA) pressure ulcer.  The real-time M.A.P. and instant feedback mechanisms are invaluable tools for guiding the caregiver through the process of off-loading potentially harmful high pressure points. Since the failure to monitor at-risk patients and implement effective interventions on a timely basis is the leading cause for pressure ulcer development, implementation of the M.A.P. System may provide a solution to this costly problem, potentially saving millions of dollars to an individual healthcare system.  Additionally, the federal government includes pressure ulcers on their list of "never events" which can lower reimbursement to offending health care providers.

"The M.A.P. System is designed to help caregivers stop problems before they begin by guiding them through proactively repositioning patients based on visual data," said Mitch Steiner, President of Wellsense.  "Most Pressure Ulcers result from a combination of both pressure and time and most repositioning regimens are ineffective because you can't see where the pressure is located.  Since the M.A.P. displays color-coded areas to be off-loaded and alerts the caregiver when the individualized repositioning regimen is due, it provides the caregiver with specific information to allow a prompt and effective intervention while completely taking the guess work out of repositioning."  

Early testing at an 800+ bed hospital and a 200+ bed Long Term Care facility has demonstrated that the M.A.P. System provides numerous benefits that will allow caregivers to more effectively manage their pressure ulcers program.  Case studies are being completed and will be released later this year. The cases include patients with Deep Tissue injuries (DTI's), who were considered at "high risk" for skin breakdown.

The cases will cite instances where the M.A.P. System, along with the caregiver's normal repositioning regimen, may have helped avoid pressure ulcers from forming on some patients. Additionally, many clinicians who discovered that hospital mattresses and therapeutic support surfaces (also known as air beds) were not providing adequate pressure relief, credit the M.A.P. System with helping them make quick decisions to replace the patient's bed with a more appropriate surface.  

Clinicians surveyed at the end of the testing period overwhelmingly believed that the M.A.P. System improved their:

  • repositioning skills;
  • timing;
  • detection skills;
  • decisions regarding proper support surfaces; and
  • overall ability to help prevent pressure sore development.

As a result, Wellsense will initiate multiple clinical trials this summer at five separate sites, including two large

private and three government hospitals.  

Future planned advances in M.A.P. technology could include sheer alerts, moisture and temperature sensing as well as other adaptations for different seating surfaces and bed-fall early warning.  Today, most bed fall systems only alert once someone has already exited the bed.  Similar to the "engine overheat" red light in older cars, once it goes off the event has already taken place.  A soon to be released version of the M.A.P. System will be a predictive algorithm which measures certain patient movements that tend to precede an unassisted bed exit.  This will alert caregivers, which can improve their  fall prevention program.  

About Wellsense  

Wellsense was founded in 2009 by well-known entrepreneur and consumer electronics visionary, Ran Poliakine.  The Company's mission is to develop and commercialize smart textile technology to prevent adverse events so that patients, residents and family members gain peace-of-mind in knowing that their healthcare facility uses the most advanced technology available for prevention and treatment of patient or resident illness.

Note:  Wellsense is located at Booth #2173 in The McCormick Center

SOURCE Wellsense Technologies
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