For long-term hospital patients or people who are otherwise bedridden, bedsores can be a major problem. Technically known as decubitus ulcers, they form when one area of the skin is subjected to too much prolonged pressure. In order to keep them from occurring, hospital staff regularly turn patients over in their beds. The MAP System is designed to aid those caregivers, by providing them with real-time imagery of the pressure points on the patient’s body.

Made by medical tech firm Wellsense, MAP (monitor, alert, protect) consists of two main parts: a pressure-sensing mat that is placed on an existing mattress, and a bedside monitor.

Thousands of sensing points within that mat continuously register how much pressure is being exerted upon them by the patient, and relay that information to the monitor. There, a corresponding pressure distribution map of the patient’s body is displayed, indicating high- and low-pressure areas. Using that information, staff can make sure to relieve pressure in the crucial places when repositioning the patient.

A countdown also appears on the screen, indicating the amount of time left before the next repositioning will be required.

The general idea of using pressure-sensing mattress pads to minimize the occurrence of bedsores isn’t particularly new, in and of itself. In most cases, however, it’s done to obtain a single snapshot-style reading, which is then used as a reference. MAP is reportedly unique in that it provides continuous, real-time feedback.

Wellsense certainly isn’t the only group working at alleviating bedsores. Swiss research group Empa has created sheets that produce fewer points of contact with the skin, along with a bed that repositions the patient by moving the mattress.

More information on the MAP System is available in the video below.

Source: MAP System