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Illuminating the Issue
Edison Nation Medical has partnered with a leading manufacturer of advanced foam sleep products to find new therapeutic support surfaces (TSS) that improve or protect patient well-being during sleep or rest as well as during operating or diagnostic procedures, whether in a healthcare environment or in a home care setting. The goal is to find innovations that provide the best support and temperature regulation for a patient in order to help prevent and treat skin breakdown that can occur with limited mobility.
The manufacturing partner with whom Edison Nation Medical has partnered is a leader in the use of advanced memory foam technology. The company’s products use a combination of gel beads to provide right temperature control, support and cushioning; open-cell technology to allow for increased airflow, balanced comfort and pain management caused by prolonged stiffness; and patented elastic cell structure technology, which provides resilient, buoyant support without the use of natural latex, which can often cause allergic reactions.
Therapeutic support surfaces are specialized mattresses or cushions that redistribute body pressure to achieve optimal management of tissue loads, skin moisture and temperature. While comfort is certainly an objective, it isn’t the only objective when considering foam products for therapeutic use. Some additional concerns to be considered in a healthcare setting include:
- Pressure-point relief
- Pressure ulcer prevention & treatment
- Heat dissipation
- Blood circulation
- Oxygenation issues
Therapeutic support surfaces can be categorized in five ways:
- Degree of pressure redistribution
- Form of device (used in seated or supine positions)
- Power source (electronically powered, non-powered or static)
- Redistribution medium (foam, water, gel and air)
- Medicare reimbursement group, which includes devices for preventive intervention (foam dry overlays or mattresses), therapeutic intervention (powered overlays and mattresses and low air-loss mattresses) and air-fluidized beds
What’s the Core Issue?
Because of their prevalence, especially among the elderly and others with limited mobility, and extreme financial burden on the healthcare system, pressure ulcers mark one of the most critical healthcare issues for which therapeutic support surfaces are used. Pressure ulcers are areas of localized damage to the skin and underlying tissue and occur most commonly on the back of the head, shoulders, elbows, buttocks, heels, hips, thighs, rib cage and toes. Pressure ulcers account for an estimated $1 billion of expenditures and add 2.2 million additional Medicare hospital days to the U.S. health care system each year. Pressure ulcers are a significant co-morbid condition that can even result in death, despite advances in medicine and nursing care.
In addition to pressure ulcers, other conditions/scenarios that could benefit from therapeutic support innovations include:
- Patients with limited mobility
- Pregnant women or women who have recently given birth
- Patients undergoing or recovering from surgery
- Patients undergoing physical therapy treatments
- Patients wearing casts or splints
- Patients requiring wound dressings