Rinicare has been awarded nearly £100,000 to develop a system to prevent older patients falling from their beds by the Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare.
The Lancaster-based company is developing a system to avoid falls that combines a thermal imaging sensor and bespoke algorithms on a computer to detect changes in a patient’s position in a hospital-style bed. It will send early warning messages to nurses or carers so action can be taken to prevent a fall.
Falls are the number one hastening factor for a person losing independence and going into long-term care, so the system could have a huge impact on people’s lives.
During phase one of the technology development, Rinicare will be fully supported and funded to demonstrate the technical feasibility of their proposed concept for a six-month developmental stage.
If the product is technically sound and offers value for money Rinicare will progress to phase two where it will be supported to take the scheme through to commercialisation.
Rinicare will develop SAFE in cooperation with The University of Manchester and The University Hospital of South Manchester.
Professor Chris Todd, from the University of Manchester, said: “There are more than 200,000 falls in NHS acute hospitals every year. Patients over 65 admitted for medical and surgical treatments are at increased risk of falling while in hospital.
Lorna Green, commercial director at the North West Coast Academic Heath Science Network, which assisted with the competition, said: “We are pleased to see Rinicare stepping forward with an innovative idea to address one of the biggest challenges that the NHS faces at the moment – supporting older people who are living longer but with a range of chronic conditions.
“All the ideas that the SBRI Healthcare are supporting will hopefully help patients in the future with a range of issues including falls, incontinence and mobility.”