Invented by Elliott Bennett-Guerrero, MEDICAL DEFENSE TECHNOLOGIES LLC, Safer Care LLC
The MEDICAL DEFENSE TECHNOLOGIES LLC, Safer Care LLC invention works as followsSome embodiments can be directed at an apparatus for monitoring patient orientation. An elongated disposable sensor is used to measure the inclination angles in an anterior part of the patient. A disposable attachment device with an extended length is designed for attachment to the sensor and patient’s anterior regions. The attachment device’s direction of elongation extends along the patient?s sternum. Attachment device comprises a sensor attachment section that can be removed from the sensor to prevent direct contact with the patient and a patient attachment section that can be attached to the anterior region of the patient.
Background for Methods, apparatus and methods for monitoring patient conditions
Some of these disclosed embodiments monitor patient orientation or movement. For example, patient incline angles can be monitored and the angles can be changed for different purposes. These and/or other embodiments can monitor various types and types of patient movement including heartbeats and respiration.
The related art also includes apparatus for monitoring patient incline angles. Below are a few examples.
Van Dongen gives a brief disclosure. It is intended to improve posture awareness in order to prevent back pain. The device 10 is attached to the patient’s sternum. An inclinometer 26 is included in the device. Paragraphs  &  describe it as an accelerometer. It’s similar to the one that Analog Device markets under the reference ADXL202EB.
The inclinometer 26 provides a signal indicating the angle of inclination for the sternum relative a vertical line to a calculator 28, Calculator 28 measures the angle of inclines, compares it with two stored threshold values, which indicate if the threshold values have been exceeded. A light, vibrating, or acoustic indicator can be used. A memory can be added to the device that allows the calculator 28 count the number and forward and backward breaches of the threshold values during a time period.
II. US 2008/0294022 Sharf et al
Sharf is a mediumly detailed disclosure. It is directed to a medical monitor to measure patient physiological parameters related to the progress of childbirth and provide an output based upon the measurements. To account for changes in maternal geometry, the output is modified to reflect a patient’s posture (e.g., sitting, standing, or lying down).
The inclination sensor 130 (380) is used to determine the posture. It can be an inclinometer (such as an acceleration, beam with strain gauge or gravity direction detector), or a known inclinometer, such as that described in Chapter 15 of The measurement, Instrumentation and sensors Handbook (ISBN 0-8493-83347-1). Dated 1999. See paragraphs  & . Multiple sensors 130 may be placed on the body of the patient. They can be placed anywhere the patient desires, such as the abdomen, trunk and spine, arm or leg. A monitor 120 can be notified by the sensor 130 (e.g., an alarm, display of measurements, etc.). When a change occurs in position, such as an increase or decrease in inclination relative to the norm. Alternately, the sensor 130 can inform the monitor 120 periodically of patient inclination, continuously and at specified intervals.
Goldbeck gives a brief disclosure that relates to a device for attaching at least one fibrous strips FB to a patient?s body for the purpose measuring bending angles (flexions or torsions), such the bending angle the patient’s spine. The fibrous strip contains at least one fiber-optic sensor that has multiple sensitive zones. The variance in light attenuation is used to determine the bend angle.
A fixing unit includes a fixing piece BM to attach a portion of the fibrous strips to the body and a loop BS to guide the fibrous strips along an axis in three-dimensional space. The fibre sensor tracks the curvature and the fixing unit prevents slippage during patient movement.
IV. U.S. Pat. No. 8,401,666 to Skelton et al.
Skelton gives a detailed disclosure. It is focused on adjusting stimulation therapy parameter values based upon detected patient activity such as a change of posture. This means that therapy modifications can be applied to patients who have a different posture. A 14-inch implantable medical device (IMD), also known as a neuro-stimulator, can be placed within the patient’s body to provide stimulation therapy. An IMD 14 can be used with implantable leads or a leadless stimulator. It has one or more arrays or electrodes that are mounted on an external housing.
The IMD 14 can sense the patient’s posture by using the posture state module 86. This allows it to detect the patient’s activity, position, or any other static motion. The posture state module 86 includes one or more accelerometers, such as three-axis accelerometers and/or micro-electro-mechanical accelerometers, capable of detecting static orientation or vectors in three dimensions. Alternately, the posture module 86 may include one or more piezoelectric crystals or pressure transducers, or any other sensors that can sense the patient?s posture. The generated information about the patient’s posture may indicate whether they have engaged in activity or not 12 or what their activity level is. One or more physiological parameters may be detected by the posture state module 86, such as heart rate, temperature and respiratory rate. See Col. 18, posture module 86 lines 50-64 and Col. 19, line 64-col. 20 line 7. The IMD 14 can modify program groups, stimulation amptudes, pulse widths and pulse rates in response to posture state information from the posture module 86. (See col. 10, lines 24-39).
V. U.S. Pat. No. No.
Ahn’s detailed disclosure is directed at real-time targeted delivery of radio or nuclear medicines for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes by precisely measuring the patient’s position. To assess the patient’s position, a number of sensors can be placed on a flat surface or table. You can attach the sensors with adhesive or make them permanent to an immobilization device. These sensors ensure that the patient is in the same orientation as the original planning scan during treatment.
VI. U.S. Pat. No. No.
Gerber gives a brief disclosure about a patient angle sensor. This sensor is used in conjunction with gastric feeding devices to stop or reverse fluid flow in a tube when the angle for a bedridden patient is sufficient to permit gastric juices from percolating up through the esophagus into the lungs. Aspiration pneumonia can occur. The sensor detects when a patient falls below a predetermined angle and shuts off the pump to stop fluid from reaching the stomach and esophagus. The device can alert the hospital staff if the patient’s orientation falls below a predetermined angle. In this case, the bed head or foot may be raised to stop further sliding.
The sensor 200 is attached to the chest of the patient. It can also be attached to the patient’s clothing (e.g. adhesives) or directly to his skin. Any device capable of sensing angles can be used as the sensor 200. It can also include mercury-filled insulative containers with electrical contacts and magnetic sensors. Advanced sensors may be used to provide an indication of the actual angle of the patient’s orientation, rather than the angle that exceeds a threshold value. This could help detect if a patient is sliding down.
VII. U.S. Pat. No. No.
Callaway gives a brief disclosure. It is intended to monitor bedridden patients remotely to prevent injuries from falling if the patient attempts to get up. The patient must move in a specific way to activate a mercury switch. The internal cavity controls the movement of a mercury balls 15 into and out engagement with two electric contacts. An internal cavity contains a truncated con for receiving the mercury ball and a surface for revolution that slopes outward from its opening. There is also an interruption ramp 19 on the surface for revolution to guide the mercury balls into the cone. This cone can be used to actuate a switch when the critical angle has been exceeded. See col. 1, lines 43-54 and col. 3, line 46-55.Click here to view the patent on Google Patents.