Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Forecast Good For Low Pressure Points


15 March 2002

Forecast Good For Low Pressure Points

Hospital patients may be resting more easily in their beds, thanks to research by Vita New Zealand and specialist hospital equipment company, Howard Wright Ltd that has seen new hospital mattress technology attracting keen international interest as well as snapping up local sales.

Successful development of a low pressure point mattress came about through determining the occurrence of pressure sores. The joint venture research was part funded by Technology New Zealand’s TBG scheme (Technology for Business Growth), part of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology

Bruce Moller, Chief Executive of New Plymouth-based Howard Wright, says US and European surveys show between 10% and 12%of all acute care patients suffer from pressure sores and that treatment costs can be significant, running to tens of thousands of dollars, depending upon the advancement of the sore.

“Prevention provides significant savings to healthcare providers. One cause of pressure sores is the cut off of blood flow to the skin's capillaries causing the skin tissue to eventually breakdown,” says Mr Moller.

Critical to the project was Vita’s acquisition of a German pressure mapping system, Ergocheck; a computer based system with 684 individual measuring points distributed across the testing surface.

Each one of these highly sensitive sensors determines the pressure between the person and mattress and measured values are then processed and printed out graphically. Pressure maps display high-pressure locations, the size of high-pressure peaks and the average pressure placed on the body.

Research technologist, Kate McMahon undertook an extensive training programme on the physical properties of polyurethane foams, mattress construction and use of Ergocheck equipment.

Mike Sexton, Vita Managing Director, says having an in-house researcher focussed on the project enabled the company to establish a P-index performance measuring system - a statistical method designed as a single repeatable measure of surface performance based on the magnitude, number and size of all peak pressures under the body.

“This enabled us to achieve a range of low pressure point mattresses, and during the course of the project we have completed a full range of healthcare mattresses for Howard Wright, which are currently being sold both domestically and internationally,” he says.

“The research project has also given Vita an added bonus, in improving our current range of healthcare mattresses and developing two new ones for the domestic retail market.”


For more information:

- Bruce Moller, Howard Wright Ltd 06 751 0542 Ext. 701, or 021 169 5279

- Mike Sexton, Vita , 09 828 5169

- Lins Kerr, Technology New Zealand at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, 04 917 7804, 025 962 581.


Technology New Zealand is a set of government-funded business support schemes which provide funding to support R&D projects in business.

Around $35 million is available each year to help companies develop new products or processes, build human capital within businesses and provide access to information and expertise.

Technology New Zealand is part of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>


Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>


Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news