Trackmat: A pressure sensing and data collecting device to minimize the incidence of fatal pressure ulcers in dementia patients who cannot communicate their pain.

Shamantha Lora, Jay Patel, Nasif Aziz, Alison Donald

1. Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto

2. Department of Human Biology, University of Toronto

The symptom of dementia impacts over 50 million people worldwide today, making growing demands for improved quality of life for affected individuals. A hallmark of having a neuropathology with the symptom of dementia is the inability to communicate pain, as a result, many suffer from pressure ulcers as a co-morbidity which can go undetected and undiagnosed until their tissue is no longer salvageable, leading to a painful death. We therefore propose a way to address the inability to manage pain at the onset of pressure ulcers in stage 4 and above dementia patients who cannot communicate their pain, such that it allows for fast and accurate tracking and accessibility of patient information. We have created a pressure sensing mat that will detect pressure differences in patients who are restricted to wheelchairs. Unlike many existing pressure sensing assistive technology, our design will be affordable, and the collected data will be able to display pressure imbalances in an easy to read manner. In addition, our mat is uses pressure sensitive fabric for affordability, and to reduce harm to the patient. Our preliminary test results have established the optimized sensor area for the best resolution.