The world is going through some tough times with financial markets melting down seemingly every other day, unstable governments threatening to topple at any time, the general downgrading of the middle class standard of living worldwide, and the continuing threat of terrorism; most recently rearing its ugly head in Norway.
Its almost enough to make you feel powerless (excuse the Powermat pun) to make any headway in a positive direction. But in fact, if you look past the surface (as loyal readers know I always do) you’ll see that every generation since the beginning of time has had their own set of trials and tribulations to deal with. Ours are not greater than anyone else’s and, in fact, in many ways the advance of technology makes us more equipped to address our problems on a global scale than ever before while improving people’s lives on a very personal level.
As I talked about in my last post, the “binding thread” that runs through every business endeavor I approach is the revision and enhancement of the surface so that it serves a more beneficial and dynamic purpose. With Powermat its the creation of the “power hub” as a solution for enabling wireless charging and power delivery. And with Wellsense, my most recent baby, its about taking the guesswork out of repositioning non-ambulatory hospital patients and nursing home residents (an aside: my wife and I have 5 real living, breathing, happy babies at home…so I’ve gotten pretty good at taking care of babies by now.)
Hospitals and nursing homes across the nation increasingly battle the incidence of preventable decubitus ulcers (better known as bed sores) with diminishing results. It is estimated that 1 in 5 ICU patients develop a facility acquired pressure ulcer, and there are an estimated 2.5 million new occurrences of pressure ulcers each year, with an estimated cost of treatment of more than $125,000 per instance.
If left untreated, or or not treated in time, preventable ulcers can cause sepsis, bone and joint infection and in in some cases, even death.
As a tool for helping prevent painful and debilitating bedsores and aiding care givers in the effective repositioning of non-ambulatory patients, Wellsense, of which I am the founder and president, has developed the M.A.P. System (an acronym for Monitor, Alert and Protect). The M.A.P. System employs a first-of-its-kind technology positioning a coverlet with built-in pressure sensors over the surface (there goes that word again) of a mattress or wheelchair to identify areas of pressure and produce a color-coded, live image on an easy-to-read monitor that changes color as the pressure is either alleviated or intensified. Essentially, it lets the care giver see the result of moving a patient in any given position and thereby administer the best possible care.
By making use of “smart textiles,” the System does other things as well like monitoring the buildup of pressure over time at preset intervals, and alerting the caregivers when a periodic repositioning is due, but its real purpose is to alleviate unneeded suffering and damage.
Of course, you’ll be hearing more about Wellsense and The M.A.P. System after we compile the data from several test-runs that we’re doing in hospitals and nursing homes around the nation, but for now its just one more instance of how looking beyond the surface of things can reveal untapped potential.