I am quite sure that caregivers and wheelchair users alike will be able to tell you what a problem pressure sores can be, especially when these tend to lead to infection. Just what can technology do in order to help out in such a situation? A team at the University of Toronto has come up with the SensiMAT, which happens to be a smart cushion that intends to prevent pressure sores for wheelchair users, and this particular project is being crowdfunded via Indiegogo.
Able-bodied people might find it difficult to identify with pressure sores, since they shift position automatically as their bodies tell them to. Wheelchair users who have sensation impairment are unable to do so, starving tissues of oxygen and nutrients due to a lack of blood circulation, resulting in pressure ulcer as the tissue dies. Pressure ulcers could take a long time to heal, and are painful.
The SensiMAT has beendescribed as a “Fitbit for seating”, where this cushion sports multiple pressure sensors, where it can be placed onto any wheelchair, and will actively record the forces on it as one sits the entire length of the day. Data will be sent to the corresponding smartphone via a companion app, detailing pressure distributions, relief patterns, and informs the user a reminder to shift position. The user’s healthcare provider would also receive similar information.