DALLAS, TX -- (Marketwire) -- 02/13/13 -- New research published in WOUNDS, the most widely read, peer-reviewed journal focusing on wound care and wound research, demonstrates the potential to improve care for patients vulnerable to hospital-acquired pressure ulcers by using Wellsense's MAP System, the first-ever continuous bedside pressure mapping system. The results of the study, "Pressure Map Technology for Pressure Sore Patients: Can We Handle the Truth?" published by Dr. Matthew Pompeo, a Thoracic and General Surgeon specializing in complex wounds, suggest that pressure mapping technology has the potential to reduce the overall incidence of pressure ulcers, commonly known as bed sores, by 50-60%.
"Pressure ulcers, which most health care professionals believe are largely preventable, remain a major problem, in terms of both human suffering and cost to the healthcare system," said Dr. Pompeo. "Even with increased awareness of this issue, the number of pressure ulcers reported to Medicare increased 80% from 1993 to 2006. This pilot study demonstrated the potential of exciting new pressure mapping technology to assist caregivers in proving patient care."
The study highlights a trial of the MAP System with 43 patients with pressure ulcers at a Long Term Acute Care Facility. Using the MAP System, the caregiver staff was able to achieve a 63% decrease in "damaging time," the amount of time after two hours without pressure reduction, to vulnerable skin tissue.
The MAP System's pressure sensing mat is made of an intelligent textile, which constantly measures pressure from thousands of discrete points. The variations in pressure across a patient's body are depicted on a monitor, using a color scheme to help caregivers visualize high (red) to low (blue) pressure points, which enables them to easily identify and minimize areas of high pressure. The MAP System serves as an educational tool for caregivers by providing live, visual feedback as they reposition patients. One experienced Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physician specializing in wound care commented that the system pinpointed when even subtle changes to patient positioning reduced pressure, and were often not what their experience would have suggested.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimates 2.5 million people in the US develop pressure ulcers per year, 60,000 of whom die from complications. There is more than a half million US hospital admissions per year where pressure ulcers are either the primary or secondary diagnosis. The treatment of pressure ulcers costs the US healthcare system approximately $11.5 billion each year. The incremental cost of extended hospitalizations due to HAPUs is up to $120,000 per ulcer. Medicare has deemed HAPUs as a 'never event' and will not pay for these incremental costs.
"If pain is the fifth vital sign, turning and pressure reduction may be the new sixth vital sign for wound patients, and this technology makes it possible to monitor it," continued Dr. Pompeo. "Pressure obviously cannot be observed or measured with the naked eye. Continuous pressure mapping has the potential to reduce the physical suffering and financial burden caused by pressure ulcers."
About the MAP System
The MAP System is the first-ever, clinically proven, continuous bedside monitoring system that detects and depicts the variations in pressure across a patient's body, to aid in the prevention of hospital acquired pressure ulcers. Used on any existing bed, the MAP System enables caregivers to visualize real time pressure distribution data to guide effective patient repositioning. The MAP System's live, color feedback empowers caregivers to easily identify early warning signs of risk to patient safety and has a demonstrated ability to improve upon a facility's pressure ulcer prevention program efforts.
Wellsense Ltd was founded in 2009 to commercialize medical applications of a smart textile technology. The company's founders and management bring a strong track record of innovating and commercializing breakthrough technologies in consumer electronics and wound care. Wellsense USA Inc. and Wellsense Ltd are privately held companies. Additional information is available at www.themapsystem.com.