Leaf Healthcare has developed an easy to implement system to monitor patient mobility via wearable technology that captures motion data wirelessly from a patient. The system uses a disposable, single-use patient sensor that attaches to a patient much like an EKG electrode. The intelligent Leaf sensor immediately knows it is monitoring a real human and instantly connects wirelessly to any Leaf relay antenna that is within its proximity. Data regarding all the movements, positions and activities of the patient is transmitted to a server through the 802.15.4 mesh network of proprietary relay antennas installed in the healthcare facility. The antennas easily plug into any available electrical outlet and the antenna relays the data to a central server that can be located anywhere—in the hospital or virtually.
Wearable technology will allow us to reduce healthcare costs by enabling more effective and efficient care
Leaf’s mission is to reduce the 3.6 percent of patients—or approximately 2.5 million—who suffer from pressure injuries each year in the U.S. and account for $11 billion in excess healthcare spending. “We now know that pressure injuries and other complications related to patient immobility can largely be prevented by improving patient mobility.” The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have, in fact, deemed pressure injuries to be “never events”, meaning these events should never occur if proper preventative measures are taken. One of the most important preventative measures is frequent patient turning. However, compliance with prescribed patient turning protocols has historically been low given the lack of technology to help monitor and intelligently coordinate the process. Hospitals who have implemented the Leaf Monitoring System have dramatically increased their compliance with mobility protocols and reduced their rates of pressure injuries. In addition to increasing adherence to mobility protocols, the Leaf system improves caregiver efficiency by automatically documenting all mobility events, including unwitnessed activities that would otherwise not be documented. By constantly monitoring patients and automatically documenting every mobility event, the Leaf system can help staff focus their attention on patients that need it most, while also ensuring that nobody slips through the cracks.
Leaf is now expanding their monitoring platform to more broadly coordinate care throughout the mobility continuum. Per Larson, “We are entering an interesting phase in healthcare where we can now leverage the power of wearable technology in new and exciting ways to improve the care of hospitalized patients. Wearable technology will allow us to reduce healthcare costs by enabling more effective and efficient care.”