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An Interview with the MDM Innovation Award Winner

March 20, 2017

This week I had an opportunity to sit down with the founder of MedicusTek USA, Dr. Jonathan Tong to discuss the company’s recent industry recognition for its use of technology in healthcare.


 
Question:
Congratulations on your recent global recognition. What a way to begin a year! Can you please tell us about the award?
 
Answer:
Yes, MedicusTek’s Sensable®Care System recently won the innovator award at the MD&M West medtech conference. Our wireless bed fall and pressure injury technology was recognized because it more easily cares for patients, reduces healthcare costs, and improves patient safety. It represents a wonderful example of how innovative wireless technology can benefit patients with a disability.
 
Question:

How does the Sensable®Care System help patients with disabilities and mobility issues?
 
Answer:
Patients with disabilities and mobility issues are often at high risk for bed falls and pressure injuries, both of which are preventable. Unfortunately they are common in hospitals and nursing homes. For patients who aren’t able to move well, they may need assistance getting out of bed. For other patients, they may not move at all and need care to reduce bed sores.
 
What our product does is use sensors embedded inside mattresses and pads to constantly monitor how a patient is moving on the bed. This information is useful because we can use it to warn caregivers of a potential safety event before it occurs. This is different from the current technology out there because it gives caregivers more time to respond. We use a mobile app on smartphones to get information to the caregiver in time. Using smartphones allows alerts to get to the caregiver wherever they might be. 
 
Question:
Why is the MedicusTek USA technology innovative?
 
Answer:

We use predictive analytics to detect potential bed exits and prevent bed falls. This allows us to warn nurses well before there is a safety issue so that caregivers have ample time to respond. The existing technology to prevent bed falls only sounds when a patient is often already out of bed, making them not very useful.

Our technology also improves the quality of patient care when it comes to pressure injuries. Current solutions lack accuracy. In many hospitals, nurses are required to reposition their patients every two hours. It’s difficult for nurses to know if they’ve repositioned a patient adequately. To address this issue, we provide a visual map of the pressure between the patient’s body and our sensors. Nurses can reference this map when repositioning the patient to ensure that pressure is properly relieved. Our technology will automatically document these repositioning events which saves time for nurses to care for other patients.

Another innovative feature is our ability to reduce alarm fatigue. Clinicians are constantly bombarded by different alarms throughout the day. Research shows that most clinical alarms are false. This desensitizes nurses to alarms and can slow down nursing response time. It also prevents other patients at the hospital from getting a good night’s sleep.

Our technology tackles the issue of alarm fatigue by being as accurate as possible. Our studies show that more than 7 out of 10 alerts generated by our innovation is a true alert. This rate is much higher than many patient monitoring systems. Our system reduces alarm fatigue, and nurses will actually respond once they hear that alert.
 
Question;
How did you come up with the idea for this system?
 
Answer:
We started this company a few years ago because of an incident that happened in my family. While my father was hospitalized, he got out of bed and injured himself. This occurred despite the best care available at the time. This failure in the system prompted me to look into the problem as a doctor and engineer. I started this company with classmates from MIT and medical school who saw the same problems in our practices. The Sensable®Care System was then created, and it’s a solution I would use for my own family.
 

Question:

Where is this system being used?
 
Answer:
Our system was designed for use in hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted healthcare facilities. We previously conducted trials in Taiwan and at Lahey Hospital in Massachusetts. Kaiser Downey Medical Center will soon be using our technology in Southern California.
 
Question:
In the future do you envision continued technological improvements in the healthcare industry being made in the accessibility, mobility, and disability space? 
 
Of course! The opportunity in these healthcare spaces is enormous. Healthcare costs are ballooning to the point where we must use value-driven, cost-effective solutions to improve patient care. Our company will continue to apply our technology to improve patient safety.


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Marie Royce, MBA, Board Director