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'Intelligent bed' designed to prevent bedsores


July 14, 2011

The intelligent bed, that automatically turns patients over to keep them from developing bedsores (Photo: Empa)

The intelligent bed, that automatically turns patients over to keep them from developing bedsores (Photo: Empa)

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Decubitus ulcers, more commonly known as bedsores, are a common and potentially serious problem for bedridden hospital patients. Staff are often required to regularly turn patients over in their beds, as the sores are the result of too much prolonged pressure to the skin, caused by lying on one spot for too long. Turning those patients over (especially the larger ones) can be physically difficult work, however, plus some facilities won't always have enough staff on hand to do the turning as often as needed. Swiss entrepreneur Michael Sauter thought the situation needed addressing, so he invented a bed that turns the patients over itself.

Known for the time being simply as an intelligent bed, the device is said to imitate the movements of a healthy person during sleep. It does this by logging the patient's movements as they sleep. If they've stayed in one position for too long, it gently moves them, via a special mattress that lies on a "joint-less but flexible slatted frame." That frame is reportedly made from "smart materials," the properties of which can be adjusted as needed.

The bed was developed through Swiss research institute Empa, and is now being developed and marketed by Sauter's spinoff company, Compliant Concept. It is presently undergoing field tests at clinics and hospitals, and should be available in Switzerland by the end of this year.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

What, no video?


Love the idea of the bed but wanted to see the bed and the mechanical parts in action!!!

Reason for commenting was primarily for interaction and feedback to the developers (incidently it looks as if this instant potential customer/ crowd intelligence facility could be updated within gizmag for benefits of everyone!!!)

Company, great potential idea that personally may have great application and possible commercial success to people with other bed problems (hip replacements).


Stephen Bryant

Yeah no kidding. I can\'t picture this working without risking dumping the patient on the floor.


Great Post.. I never ever seen such type of bed. Yeah, but it will surely help patients who are suffering from Decubitus ulcers.


Hill-Rom has had a bed that turns patient for at least 10 years. They are not the only company doing it. A removeable \"rotation\" module may be inserted into the bed if a patient is at high risk of developing Decubitus ulcers. You are just parroting a company\'s press release.

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