Pressure ulcers are a serious health-related issue both for the patients who suffer from them, as well as the Canadian healthcare system that spends $3.5 billion annually in pressure ulcer treatment. People who cannot move specific parts of their body for an extended period of time caused a reduction of blood flow to the area and as a result are more susceptible in developing pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers are a result of the body being in direct contact with a supporting surface, such as a bed or wheelchair, preventing movement of certain limbs. This is an issue for the elderly, wheelchair mobility, and patients residing in nursing homes.
Research has shown that pressure ulcers can be prevented through regular body position changes. Experts say body positions should occur every 15 minutes or so for those in a wheel chair and at least every once every two hours for people in bed, even during the night time hours. Our team is developing a low-cost and simple-to-use device to help remind patients and caregivers when repositioning of the patient is needed, which off-loads the body parts under pressure that are risk of developing pressure ulcers.