CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Edison Nation Medical and a leading manufacturer of advanced foam sleep products are launching a global search to identify new therapeutic support solutions. The goal is to improve and protect patient well-being during sleep, rest or an operating or diagnostic procedure, while in a health care facility and home care setting, by optimizing support and temperature regulation in order to help prevent and treat skin breakdown associated with poor mobility.
A therapeutic support surface is a specialized mattress or cushion that redistributes body pressure to achieve optimal management of tissue loads, skin moisture and temperature. Support surfaces redistribute the body's weight and protect the skin, while providing for proper body alignment, pain reduction and postural control. The importance of utilizing appropriate therapeutic support surfaces goes well beyond comfort; supportive surfaces are often used to address issues such as pressure-point relief, treatment of pressure ulcers, heat dissipation, blood circulation and oxygenation issues.
Therapeutic support surfaces can be categorized in five ways: by the 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), and by 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.
"Our search partner has a long history of creating state-of-the-art sleep and home products that provide an optimal balance of comfort and support using their highly-advanced foam technology," said Robert Grajewski, president of Edison Nation Medical. "Inviting individuals who have either professional or personal patient care experience to contribute ideas that incorporate this foam technology to improve patient care and health outcomes is an innovative next step for our partner to take in order to apply their expertise into health care."
Prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers are two of the most important health care issues for which therapeutic support devices are used. Also referred to as pressure sores or bed sores, pressure ulcers are areas of localized damage to the skin and underlying tissue, and are most common in the elderly and people with limited mobility. Common pressure ulcer sites include the back of the head, shoulders, elbows, buttocks, heels, hips, thighs, rib cage and toes, due to the prevalence of bony prominences.
Environmental causes of pressure ulcers include prolonged pressure from the patient's body against any external surface (mattress, chair, or operating room equipment, for example); shear, which occurs when a patient's skin moves in one direction while the underlying bone moves in another; friction between a patient's skin and another surface, even one as soft as a sheet; moisture and elevated tissue temperatures.
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.
Beyond pressure ulcers, additional conditions and medical situations that would benefit from new innovative support surfaces include, but are not limited to, patients with limited mobility, pregnancy and post-pregnancy, surgery and post-surgery, physical therapy, casts or splints and wound dressings.
The manufacturing partner with which 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.
"Our search partner has the technological expertise to develop products which may reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers and other conditions," said Louis Foreman, Edison Nation Medical's chief executive officer. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with them to tackle such important health care issues through open innovation."
Edison Nation Medical's medical, product development and legal experts review ideas after they are submitted through the search's confidential and secure online portal and as they progress through the eight-stage review process. Each idea submission costs $25, after which Edison Nation Medical incurs any design, manufacturing, patent, licensing or other costs. Edison Nation Medical splits licensing royalties 50/50 with inventors whose ideas are successfully licensed.
Therapeutic support system ideas may be submitted confidentially to www.EdisonNationMedical.com/TSS until the search concludes on March 18, 2014.
ABOUT EDISON NATION MEDICAL
Edison Nation Medical is a medical device incubator and health care innovation portal with deep product development and medical expertise. A collaboration between Carolinas HealthCare System, one of the nation's leading health care systems, and Edison Nation, Inc., a prolific product developer and online social community for inventors, Edison Nation Medical's mission is to create more effective, efficient, and safer health care through innovation by breaking down traditional barriers and providing an easy way for new medical product inventions to come to life.
Edison Nation Medical is based in Charlotte, N.C. For more information on the company, please visit www.EdisonNationMedical.com.
SOURCE Edison Nation Medical