Are you someone in a wheelchair who constantly worries about getting pressure sores? Well worry no more! There is a technology that helps you manage this. It is called SENSIMAT.
Here is how it works. There are 6 sensors on the mat that represents your legs and your bottom. The sensors turn red when there is too much pressure. An alert goes off (either a beeping sound or just vibrating, options you can select) to let you know you need to relieve the pressure. To achieve this, you can either lean to the left, right, forward or even lift right off your cushion. After a few seconds, the sensors turn grey meaning the pressure has been relieved. You can also set the number of reliefs you want to achieve in an hour and set how often you want the alert. You can even turn it off if you don’t want to use it.
The SENSIMAT is very un-intrusive. It fits right under your cushion and wirelessly syncs to your mobile phone. All you have to do is download the app on either Android or Apple iOS and register your mat. Through the app, not only can you track pressure reliefs but you can also analyze relief trends so you can proactively keep track and manage your prevention routine. You can also allow your family and care workers to use the app so they can assist you in your progress.
If you don’t want to use your mobile device to track your progress that’s okay! You can go to app.sensimatsystems.com and keep track there. All you need to do is register your mat, just like you would on the app!
I have been trying out the SENSIMAT for a few weeks and I have found it helpful. Even though I am pretty mobile, I am more conscious about relieving pressure. Even though it has helped me become more aware, I think it would be more helpful for individuals in a power chair or have limited mobility.
There are a few “downsides” to the SENSIMAT, if you could call them that. First, you have to charge it when the battery is low. To do this however, you will need to have a micro USB cable. The battery life is usually a week and it takes about 2 hours to charge. The only other thing is if you rely on the app you have to make sure your Bluetooth is on. Also, if you are somewhere where you can’t get signal, it won’t work either. Also you have to make sure your phone is close to the SENSIMAT, otherwise it might disconnect.
Unfortunately the SENSIMAT is not covered by the Assistive Device Program (ADP) yet. The application process is not complete. After that process is done, ADP will provide them with a code so it will be covered.
The current price of the SENSIMAT is $299.00. The price includes the system, a charger, the free app download and access to the web portal.