AI solution developed in Sweden prevents pressure ulcers
Care of Sweden prevents pressure ulcers with AI
As the number of old people increases, the need for care at home and in hospitals is increasing worldwide. The AI solution from Care of Sweden, which is used as an aid to prevent and treat pressure ulcers, can have an important impact on the quality of care and health economics. The company is now looking for strategic partners to make best use of these capabilities.
Lars-Inge Magnusson (RnD Manager) & Karl Bülow (CEO) Photo: Mathilda Händén
"With the help of machine learning, we have developed a platform based on AI technology that can help prevent pressure injuries and be used as an aid in the treatment of pressure ulcers. We use a control unit that can manage different types of alternating pressure mattresses to provide products that are suitable for use in the home and hospital care. The flexibility of a device that detects which mattress the prescriber has chosen provides nothing but benefits when using the product," says Karl Bülow, CEO of Care of Sweden, who has been developing and supplying medical devices for the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers for more than 20 years.
Pressure ulcers mean 15.5 more days of care
The incidence of pressure ulcers in health care is one of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare's approved quality-of-care metrics, and is monitored twice a year at all Swedish hospitals. The prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers is not only about reducing suffering for patients, but also about reducing the cost of preventable healthcare injuries. Patients with pressure ulcers need an average of 15.5 more days of care than patients with no pressure ulcers, according to a British study from 2017.⁽¹⁾
In simple terms, pressure ulcers are caused by persistent pressure that results in poor blood circulation and insufficient oxygen for the tissue. Pressure ulcers can also occur through cell deformation. Care of Sweden's self-developed algorithm was developed to meet the needs of both scenarios.
"Our solution uses a wide range of sensors to constantly adjust internal mattress pressure based on the patient's weight and position in the bed. The sensors and control unit have already made it possible to read off great amounts of data that can be used not only for validating functions, but also for communicating technical functions and near-patient data," says Karl Bülow.
Evaluated by leading researchers
Care of Sweden's AI products were recently evaluated by a group of scientists at the University of Ghent. The study shows the effect of the product on the primary causes of pressure ulcers, ischaemia and cell deformation.⁽²⁾
By thinking beyond conventional solutions, Care of Sweden has opened the door to developments in the treatment of pressure ulcers both in the home and in hospitals. Karl Bülow now wants to take the next step towards better quality of care.
"We see several more clinical applications that could be developed further, e.g. motion detection linked to pressure wound prevention. Today we have operational software and hardware prototypes for connected products, and the way ahead is to find strategic partners to make even better use of the data generated by the AI function," says Karl Bülow.
1) Hauck KD, WS, Vincent C, Smith PC. Healthy Life-Years Lost and Excess Bed-Days Due to 6 Patient Safety Incidents: Empirical Evidence From English Hospitals. Medical Care. 2017:125-30.
2) Zwaenepoel, E., et al., Int Wound J, 2020 17(1).