Sometimes a customer might think that a cushion they’ve had for the last six years is the most uncomfortable thing they have ever sat on, so clients will try 20 more, but actually, the cushion they came in with is giving them the best readings. It might be uncomfortable because of how it has been set up, but you can’t always feel where the seating isn’t quite right. Also, if you bring a product out and say “try this” and get a good reading, it’s not me convincing them; the evidence in front of them gives them the information they need to decide.
Richard Holland-Oakes, CEO & Co-Founder of Recare
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The advanced pressure mapping technology is routinely utilised in our Complete Specialist Seating and Rehabilitation Clinic with an Expert Seating Professional and Complex Rehabilitation Consultant.
User-friendly SmartFabric sensor technology can provide instant and accurate interface pressure data in all required areas, predominantly used in pressure areas for cushions, backrests, and modular and moulded seating options.
Minimise Risk & Maximise Quality of Life
BodiTrak2 Pro advanced pressure mapping system used by rehabilitation seating professionals worldwide. The mapping allows clinicians to assess pressure care solutions and provide evidential reports.
Dedicated to client’s pressure management, posture, and comfort needs to ensure personalised specialist seating, surface and positioning solutions decided using quantitative visual data.
Evidence-Based Decision Making
Powerful data collection and easy-to-understand graphic displays help identify patient requirements for standard or customised product solutions.
Scan visual comparison display assists clinicians in choosing the pressure maps that can represent the client’s needs in their; current solution, on a mat table, on a possible solution and a preferred solution. It is an excellent biofeedback training tool.
What is Wheelchair Pressure Mapping Technology?
Pressure mapping is the evidential future of personalising client specialist seating and unique pressure care solutions, with sensors being the pathway to pressure sore prevention.
The key to any client’s seating solution is maintaining skin integrity, preventing or reducing pressure sores and forming ulcers. This key factor applies to all seating solutions. Previously, pressure mapping has been used in research environments or only benefits those who require highly specialised complex seating carried out by expensive, highly specialist occupational or physical therapists. The use of pressure mapping is an area of developing evidential research, and the misconception of whom it benefits has been proven to have previously been broadly generalised.
What is pressure mapping?
Pressure mapping, in summary, is a clinical tool that uses specialist sensor technology to provide computerised visual and evidential data that shows a precise assessment of pressure distribution over a specific area. For reference, this article is referencing the use of pressure mapping in rehabilitation seating solutions.
This mapping tool is, in practice, a thin specialist sensor sheet containing specialist sensors. The sensor sheets are very thin, flexible and smooth, so they offer no detriment to your skin whilst assessing your personalised seating solution. The sensor sheets are placed on top of the seating or area being analysed; generally, this means one is placed over the cushion and another in front of the backrest in our seating clinics. In placing these, when you sit onto the seating being assessed will produce an evidential pressure map with the data in real-time. This map provides a visual image on the screen, similar to what you see on heat mapping imagery. The visual information you see is the areas of different pressures shown as a spectrum of colours. With warmer colours indicating areas of high pressure, the cooler colours are indicators of lower pressure areas, by following this spectrum of colours gives optimal real-time visual data.
Why is pressure mapping valuable?
The fundamental goal of the clinical use of pressure mapping is an evidential aid to find your suitable seating solution. You can view the different seating solutions and their benefits on the page dedicated to specialist seating.
Focussing on the benefits of the pressure mapping tool itself is to focus on the steps taken in the journey to finding your personalised seating solution, pressure mapping is the tool to aid in this discovery, and the provision of real-time visual feedback can prove an essential tool for clients and professionals alike. Pressure mapping breaks down the barriers for patients and clinicians, in many cases providing evidence that only relies on their bases of knowledge or staying with the same seating regardless of developments in their positioning.
Before now the use of the pressure mapping tool was used in research facilities. There is increasing information proving pressure mapping to be a vital tool in clinical assessments due to its advanced ability to provide real-time quantitative data in a visual format with the function to display, record, report and share the information. The necessity of reporting and sharing can vary. However, the capability to do so further enhances the client’s assessment and can offer essential information for others acting in a professional capacity to the client’s overall care. In the circumstances of some clients, due to the array of seating solutions available, to justify or apply for funding support for a higher level of seating than they are currently using. The ability to produce evidence that the clients seating solution that alternative professionals or services have recommended will not provide the client with adequate pressure distribution and therefore will need alternative seating to give the client the most appropriate personal pressure care.
Further than just being a tool for analysis and reporting client pressure care and optimal seating solutions, the clinical requirement of pressure mapping is a valuable educational tool for professionals but equally benefits the client.
The clear advantage the pressure mapping offers in a clinical setting is that real-time visual aid to the client demonstrating evidential proof for their reassurance that they too are making an informed decision on the recommendations and guidance of their clinical professionals. The pressure mapping tool supports seating recommendations and can assist clients who are uncertain about changing their previous pressure care, such as their cushion, to a better seating solution for their requirements.
The combined outcome is to minimise the risk of damage due to poor skin integrity and pressure sores. The seating solution offers the best pressure distribution surface specific to each client’s personal needs to reduce the risk. International research provides guidelines to prevent pressure sores. Clients should alter their position on an hourly basis. This is difficult for many people who use wheelchairs and, without the tilt-in-space function of a powered wheelchair, likely impossible. The use of the pressure mapping tool, especially for a person who has no feeling in their lower extremities, is invaluable to reduce with absolute certainty that their risk is reduced to the absolute minimum.