How a Wearable is Working to Prevent Pressure Injuries

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A new report has come out from researchers at Stanford Health Care, looking at how a new wearable sensor could potentially help improve the chance of a patient staying healthy when at risk for pressure injuries. The study is titled “Effect of a wearable patient sensor on care delivery for preventing pressure injuries in acutely ill adults: A pragmatic randomized clinical trial.” The study found that patients randomized to be treated were 73% less likely to develop a pressure injury after using the wearable device.

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According to the study “Leaf Healthcare’s wearable sensor is worn on the upper torso, and it transmits patient position and orientation information wirelessly through small Leaf antennas plugged into electrical outlets in patient rooms.” Annemari Cooley, VP, market development for Leaf Healthcare, stated recently that “The sensor detects all patient position changes in bed, in chair, and when ambulating and lets caregivers know via visual cues when a patient has been immobile for too long,” she said. The detection and transmission from the device occurs every 10 seconds or so, ensuring that the data is as up to speed as possible.

Mark Smith, VP of business development for the company stated that the data on a specific patient’s position, movement and activity are gathered in a database and displayed on “a dashboard (computer display) at the nurses’ station so they always know remotely what position the patient is in, how long they have been in that position, and if the patient is not moving enough on their own, it visually prompts staff to assist in turning that patient.” Given that the tech in this sector is so new relative to the market, it will be interesting to see where the future of wearable medical tech goes and how it will continue to shape the lives of patients.

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