Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


EPOSBED — Result In Brief

Project ID: 222064
Funded under: FP7-SME

Better hospital beds for the elderly

Innovative hospital beds that respond to slight body movements will help the elderly manoeuvre much more easily, relieving hospital staff from this challenging job and saving money in the process.
Better hospital beds for the elderly
By the year 2040, one in four Europeans will be above the age of 65, putting significant strain on medical care facilities and caregivers. As hospital workers are also ageing, there is a growing demand for assistive mobility systems that allow nurses to work effectively for more years. One major challenge in hospital care today is how patients with limited mobility are positioned in their beds, a determining factor in their overall comfort and health condition. Moreover, it is not only time-consuming for hospital staff but also often leads to back injuries in nurses.

The EU-funded project 'Easy positioning of in-bed patients with reduced mobility' (EPOSBED) sought to overcome this challenge. EPOSBED designed a hospital bed with automatic positioning, driven by intelligent software that enables patients to use slight body movements to command the bed. The technology involves a network of sensors in the mattress to monitor pressure with continuous feedback to the software. Once the patient tilts a bit, the system understands his or her direction. A new bedframe has also been designed to complement the system in order to market it as a comprehensive solution.

This bodes well for patients with reduced mobility in public and private hospitals, but also in residences and private homes. The project foresees a whole range of different products emerging from the technology with different features and prices. EPOSBED has already been registered as a brand name, and its results can be seen on the project website , which also contains videos about the product.

With 85 % of nurses sustaining back injuries at some point in their career, associated costs amount to about EUR 6 billion in European hospitals through loss of working days. Therefore, this solution is not only good for patients and nurses, but for the medical industry as well. It demonstrates Europe's leadership in the field and prepares for an increasingly ageing population in innovative ways. The future for the EU's elderly is set to be a more comfortable one.

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