Advanced Technology to Aid Medical Sector in Fine-tuning Patient Monitoring for Prolonged Pressure-Strained Skin Conditions
In the last two decades, the use of technology has brought tremendous efficiency and accuracy in medical treatments. Healthcare is advancing hand-in-hand with technology, with healthcare being a focus area of technology for optimal solutions for treatments and services.
In the Wearable Technologies Conference held in San Francisco in July 2015, in a breakthrough advancement, revolutionary wearable sensor technology was presented for medical personnel to monitor patient movement to help with ulcers and other hospital-acquired conditions and alert caregivers for changing position of susceptible patients.
Browse Market Research Report of Pressure Relief Devices Market:
Pressure ulcers, commonly known as bedsores, are a grave problem in the U.S. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 2.5 million Americans suffer from pressure ulcers each year, and almost 60,000 deaths occur each year due to complications from pressure ulcers.
High-profile cases, such as the death of actor Christopher Reeves from complications of pressure ulcers, highlight the fact that they can be lethal if left untreated.
What Causes the Development of Pressure Ulcer in Patients?
Bedsores or pressure sores are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue that happen due to prolonged pressure on the skin.
Constant pressure on the skin, which limits blood flow to the surface and nearby tissues, leads to the development of pressure ulcers. Other factors related to limited mobility can make the skin susceptible to damage and lead to pressure ulcers.
The three primary contributing factors are:
- Sustained Pressure: In the instance of the skin and the underlying tissues being caught between the bone and a surface such as a bed or a wheelchair, the external pressure may be stronger than the pressure exerted by the blood in the capillaries and arterioles in the respective area. The lack of essential nutrients in the skin cells and tissues causes damage, and eventually death of these functional areas.
- Friction: Friction is produced as a result of resistance to motion in the instance of the skin being dragged across a surface, such as at the time of change of sleeping or sitting position. The intensity of friction is higher if the skin is moist. Repeated instances of friction make the skin fragile and more susceptible to injury.
- Shear: The instance of two surfaces moving in opposite direction leads to shear. For example, if the hospital bed is raised at the head, it enables the patient to slide down in the bed. During this action, as the tailbone changes position, the skin over the bone may not necessarily move and may essentially be pulled in the opposite direction. This may injure blood vessels and tissue, thus making the site vulnerable to damage.
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With mounting incidence of pressure ulcers coming on the surface due to myriad health reasons, Transparency Market Research (TMR) presents a detailed analysis of demand patterns for pressure relief devices that are the first-line treatment for such conditions, here’s a lowdown:
- Low-tech devices alleviate pressure experienced by patients on the skin and tissue due to their body weight. The use of such devices help prevent ulcer and they are cost-effective and easy to use. The aforementioned factors led low-tech devices to dominate the global pressure relief devices market in 2013.
- Amongst the hi-tech devices, dynamic air therapy beds are highly efficient and effective for pressure ulcer treatment. For such reasons, the product segment is expected to register the highest growth in the next few years.