Pleasanton, Calif. (September 3, 2014) For the first time a new, wearable technology promises to help medical personnel prevent pressure ulcers by monitoring patient movement and alerting caregivers when patients susceptible to pressure ulcers need to be turned.
At the 2014 Medicine X Conference, Dr. Barrett Larson will discuss a novel monitoring system that can help eliminate hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. Medicine X showcases new emerging technologies that have the potential to transform medicine.
"Pressure ulcers are very expensive to treat and they pose a huge burden to our healthcare system," Larson said. "Each year, we spend over $9 billion treating pressure ulcers more than we spend treating influenza.1 And, since pressure ulcers are considered preventable, these treatment costs are not reimbursable."
Larson's presentation will review traditional pressure ulcer prevention strategies and highlight new opportunities for improvement. The standard pressure ulcer prevention method manually turning patients every two hours has a low compliance rate of 66 percent,2 creating a high risk to susceptible patients. Given the limitations, Dr. Larson and his colleague Daniel Shen developed a technology solution designed to improve nursing efficiency and patient care.
Larson became aware of the pernicious problem of pressure ulcers when he was in medical school at Stanford University and saw a patient whose life was threatened by an infected pressure ulcer. Larson teamed up with fellow medical student Daniel Shen and together the two young physicians set out to use innovative technology to help prevent pressure ulcers.
Their solution was the Leaf Patient Monitoring System, a wireless, single-use, disposable sensor that can track the movements and activities of hospitalized patients. The system, which has been cleared by the FDA, is designed to provide nursing staff with a better way to monitor, coordinate, optimize, and customize turning efforts for large groups of patients.
Data collected by the sensor is communicated wirelessly to central monitoring stations or mobile devices so that caregivers can check on patient position and movement. The system provides alerts when necessary to ensure that all patients are repositioned according to their prescribed turning schedules in order to reduce incidence of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers.
"There is a pressure ulcer epidemic in this country and around the world," said Larson. "In the United States, 1 out of every 30 hospitalized patients will develop a pressure ulcer. We must embrace technology to fight this terrible problem."
Leaf Healthcare creates wireless patient monitoring solutions for healthcare providers seeking efficient, cost effective ways to improve patient safety and clinical outcomes. Its patient monitoring system wirelessly monitors a patient's position and movement and uses that data to automate and document mobility protocols for patients. The company plans to incorporate more monitoring features and capabilities into its technology platform, enabling ever-broader improvements to patient safety, clinical efficiency and patient outcomes. To learn more, visit www.leafhealthcare.com
Leaf Healthcare, Inc.