Shocking underpants help people not getting bedsores


Racy underwear can often be described as shocking, but rarely has that statement been literally true. Neuroscientists have designed a pair of pants that look a bit like cycling shorts and which send tiny electric currents to the wearer’s bottom. The undergarment has the potential to prevent pressure ulcers in people with mobility problems. This could save the US an estimated $12 billion annually.

Pressure ulcers, more commonly known as bedsores, are open wounds that typically occur over bony areas of the body such as the coccyx and hips. They occur when pressure is applied to soft tissue, cutting off the blood supply to an area and so causing tissue death. They can be very painful and incredibly debilitating, and in the US alone about 60,000 people die each year from complications related to bedsores, such as infection or gangrene.

Bedsores are also estimated to be a direct cause of death in 7 to 8 per cent of people with paraplegia.

To help prevent these sores from occurring, University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada has developed Smart-E-Pants. They contain a built-in electronic system which delivers tiny electrical currents that stimulate the gluteal muscles in the buttocks for 10 seconds every 10 minutes for 12 hours a day. They recreate the fidgeting movement that a mobile person does naturally, relieving the pressure on bony areas.

Researcher team tested the underwear on 33 people who were immobile due to stroke, spinal injury or multiple sclerosis. Each volunteer wore the garment for four days a week over two months.

About 85 per cent of participants said that the garment was comfortable, and were able to sleep in them. They also said that they did not interfere with their daily routine.

Although this was not a test for efficacy, none of the participants developed bedsores over the testing period. Not getting bedsores in two months is unusual since they usually occur in immobile patients within days.

Next, the team hopes to test the pants on a larger group of participants in intensive care, in order to test their efficacy in preventing the onset of bedsores after spinal injury.


About thomasdinnocenzi

Thomas D’Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused international consultant with extensive experience in global sourcing and business development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global marketing and sourcing operations. He has extensive experience in international business development to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, bench-marking performance, and developing organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. Tom founded Nova Advisors with the mission of providing expert Global Business Development consulting services for companies seeking to expand their market share as an independent consultant. Tom has a network of experts and advisors throughout the Asia-Pacific region and North America. His expertise includes business development, global sourcing, manufacturing, commodities, logistics, QA/QC, FDA, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and supply chain optimization. Tom is experienced in the medical device, apparel, consumer goods and technology services verticals helping companies advance their global sourcing capabilities and develop new markets through a local and sustained approach. Located in SE Asia and the United States, Tom expands market reach to drive sales. His global sourcing strategy includes directly negotiating with commodity suppliers, supply chain networks and distributors for optimal terms based on his expertise and first-hand knowledge of the players. Contact Tom to use his consulting service to increase your global market and make global sourcing profitable for you in the Asia Pacific Region and the United States. USA Direct: +1.904.479.3600 SINGAPORE: +65.6818.6396 THAILAND: +662.207.9269
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