In hospitals, nurses constantly have to prioritize patients based on their needs and changes in their condition. While critical patients and conditions are given priority, not so acute conditions fall down the priority list and can become a burden on patient and nurses. One such non-critical task is routine patient turning to prevent patients hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, commonly known as bedsores. Immediate treatment of pressure ulcers is needed or they can damage the skin and muscles, slow the recovery, and cause pain, infection and other problems.
Leaf Healthcare has a wearable and wireless solution: the Leaf Patient Monitoring System.. The solution consists of a wearable sensor placed on the patient, wireless antennas to transfer the data from the sensor, and a user interface that can be accessed on any smart device to review the information. The sensor is wireless and disposable, and is attached to the patient’s upper chest using medical grade adhesive. Once attached to the body, the sensor immediately starts transmitting information. Wireless antennae are plugged into the regular power outlets, creating a mesh within the hospital. Each sensor communicates with the antenna that provides the best signal strength. The user interface is available on smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. Nurses get the necessary information, including turn priority, at one glance. When the patient position changes or they move about the ward, the network of antenna tracks their actions through the constantly transmitted data. A proprietary protocol is used to encrypt the patient movement data. Alerts are generated when it is necessary to reposition a patient. The system automates turning schedules and prioritizes turning needs for multiple patients. The wireless sensor’s tri-axial accelerometer monitors patient position (Left, Back, Right), alerts the nurses when assisted turns are needed and monitors whether adequate turns are performed or not. FDA has provided its approval for The Leaf Patient Monitoring System.
With treatment options like the one from Leaf Healthcare there is an opportunity to reduce hospital acquired pressure ulcers as well as manage the nurses’ workflow more effectively.