Wireless Monitor to Prevent Bedsores in Nursing Homes

Period of Performance: 09/30/1999 - 08/31/2001


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Augmentech, Inc.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Principal Investigator


AugmenTech proposes to develop low cost wireless wearable monitors to measure and record the average positions over the course of a day and range of motion of the thigh of nursing home residents who are at risk for developing pressure ulcers. This technology will facilitate better diagnosis of which residents most need help with repositioning; thereby improving overall care cost effectiveness by allowing personnel to concentrate on those with the greatest need. Currently, there is no other efficient way for supervisory nurses to monitor whether nursing aides deliver repositioning care in a timely manner thus our instrumentation can become part of nursing homes' quality assurance programs. Our main research focus is to use our monitors to determine if variations in the timeliness of scheduled repositioning (turning in bed and restraint release from chairs) correlates with variations in pressure ulcer prevention effectiveness. We will investigate if there are time correlations between episodes of delayed repositioning care and pressure ulcer occurrence. We will investigate which combinations of pressure relieving surfaces are most effective for preventing pressure ulcers with residents having different degrees of residual mobility. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: Our system will be among the first commercial products capable of cost- effective documentation of compliance with regulations that mandate turning intervention programs. It will also help all nursing facilities for the elderly better identify which residents most need this labor intensive intervention and which residents would benefit from withholding the turning because they spontaneously reposition themselves to an adequate degree.