An Easier Entry
A new tool aims to give providers of wheelchair cushions and therapeutic support surfaces an easier entry point into pressure mapping.
- By David Kopf
- May 01, 2014
Pressure mapping is a critical tool for treating both mobility patients and patients that need a therapeutic support surface. The technology uses pressure sensitive pads to help doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals view the pressure between a patient’s body and a mattress or wheel chair cushion. Using pressure mapping, medical professionals can pinpoint the areas where there is too much pressure and thusly an increased risk of shear-induced trauma or pressure ulcers, and then make adjustments to prevent those dangers from occurring.
SensorEdge give providers and other health professionals a wealth of diagnostic information to help them prevent pressure sores and other problems
That said, pressure mapping can be difficult technology to implement. This puts HME providers and other members of the healthcare continuum at a risk, because the even greater cost of a pressure sore will largely fall on them.
For example in 2007, Medicare estimated one pressure ulcer presented an added cost of $43,000 to a hospital stay. So, in 2008, Medicare and Medicaid stopped reimbursing hospitals and institutions for the treatment of pressure ulcers developed during a patient’s stay. The agency concluded why should it pay for a preventable condition?
To help providers contend with this dilemma, Suffern, N.Y. support surface manufacturer Blue Chip Medical Products recently partnered with a Parsippany, N.J.-based pressure mapping device maker to offer pressure mapping solutions that prevent costly pressure ulcers and increase patient comfort for both wheelchair and support surface applications. When announced, the venture joined two complementary
“We are excited to partner with the team at Blue Chip,” said Igor Ofenbakh, president of SensorEdge. “We know our pressure mapping solutions compliment their mattress and positioning products. We are keen to improve patient comfort and prevent costly pressure ulcers before they happen.
“We are working with SensorEdge to bring quality solutions to hospitals and other medical institutions,” said Ron Resnick, president of Blue Chip Medical Products. “Our products improve the quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries, amputations, multiple sclerosis and other conditions. We feel the weight of that responsibility and only partner with others who share our passion.”
At the heart of that passion lies a technology called MeasureX, a proprietary software developed by SensorEdge that measures pressures in 2D and 3D pressure maps. The software also includes features for video recording, highlighting areas of interest, masking and data exporting. In terms recording and using pressure mapping data, medical professionals using the software with a SensorEdge sensor pad, can record and save sessions; track center of gravity; view pressure in adjustable color gradients; generate average pressure graphs; use area masking to generate localized statistics; and customize how data is displayed. The data can be exported as .avi video files, and data is exportable to Excel Video recording capability.
Looking at size, the mattress sensing pad measures 82 inches long by 32.5 inches wide and tiny .02 inches thick. The actual sensing area is 80 inches by 32 inches, and the standard sensing area resolution is 32 by 32 or 32 by 64 for high definition. The total sensor is 1024 standard and 2048 high definition with a pressure range of 1 to 30 psi.
The wheelchair sensing pad for seating and positioning applications measures 18 inches by 18 inches, and again .02 inches thick. The sensing area is 16 inches by 16 inches with a resolution of 16 by 16 for standard and 32 by 32 for high definition. The total sensor is 256 standard or 1024 high definition, and the pressure range is 1 to 30 psi.
Ultimately, implementing pressure mapping not only prevents problems but creates trust. The tool lets providers give referral partners and patients unbiased diagnostic information from their fitting sessions. This creates beneficial outcomes, prevents costly mistakes and builds trust — three highly valued commodities in today’s healthcare environment.
MeasureX and SensorEdge Sensors
Blue Chip Medical Products
This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of HME Business.
David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.