The San Antonio medical device company Turn Medical has partnered with the national provider of rented medical equipment US Med-Equip (USME) to widen access to the startup’s first product for critically ill patients with severe respiratory issues. The partnership accelerates hospitals’ access to Turn Medical’s Pronova-O2 Automated Prone Therapy System, an automated hospital bed that rotates patients to a prone position onto their abdomen.
The bed provides an effective and efficient way for clinicians to move patients into the prone position safely and easily.
Prone positioning is recommended for critically ill patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which accounts for about 10% of all admissions to intensive care units (ICUs) worldwide. Prone therapy is now considered the standard of care for those with severe ARDS to reduce lung trauma and improve outcomes, especially for those on a ventilator.
“It can take six to eight clinicians to place a patient in the prone position physically and just as many to return the patient to the supine position for CPR,” Turn Medical CEO Tara Psencik said. “This labor-intensive process takes a toll on patients and clinicians alike, especially as more and more bedside clinicians having experience with the complex process of proning patients are leaving the healthcare practice altogether.”
Turn Medical launched its bed in late 2021. Hospitals can acquire Pronova-O2 through either capital purchase or rental in select regions.
The commercialization of Turn Medical’s bed will significantly increase the number of automated devices available in the United States. Turn Medical’s automated prone positioning system allows a single nurse to flip a patient in 30 seconds by pushing a button on their bed, Psencik said. The bed can also elevate the patient’s head and upper body and be set to continuously rotate the bed slowly to help prevent skin damage from lying in one position too long.
“The standard of care is to reposition patients every two hours,” Psencik said. “Doing it manually takes manpower, and nurses who need to flip that patient onto their back before starting CPR don’t have that time.”
About 500,000 patients in the U.S. with acute respiratory distress syndrome could benefit from automated prone positioning.
Nurses, nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants suffer more musculoskeletal injuries than workers in any other field. Costs associated with back injuries in the healthcare industry total more than $7 billion annually.
The idea for the bed came from three engineers who knew each other from working together.
Read: Turn Medical Automates Patient Prone Positioning for Critical Care
The company has 15 employees and six patents pending. The hospital bed is the first product in Turn Medical’s pipeline. They have also developed a technology application called InteliDerm to use with the bed that may help prevent pressure wounds on the patient’s skin.
Over the past three years, the company has raised $10.2 million in seed funding from founders and angel investors.
Read: Turn Medical Closes $3.8M Funding for Automated Hospital Bed
Turn Medical is currently building the beds near the San Antonio airport on Arion Parkway. The startup is interested in hiring a quality engineer and recently onboarded its chief financial officer (CFO), Neil Kellen.
Texas-based US Med-Equip partners with thousands of hospitals nationwide for the rental, sales, service, and asset management of medical equipment — diagnostic and clinical devices ranging from ventilators to therapeutic patient beds.
“As clinicians provide life-saving care, they count on the highest quality medical equipment to help their patients heal,” US Med-Equip CEO Greg Salario said. “Our partnership with Turn Medical will offer hospitals greater access to specialized proning beds designed to help their patients heal without risking clinicians’ bedside injuries.”
The featured photo is of Turn Medical’s hospital bed, the Pronova-O2 Automated Prone Therapy System. Courtesy photo.