Accurate and timely assessment of a critically ill patient’s skin is extremely important in preventing pressure injuries from occurring or worsening, and monitoring treatment effectiveness. Students on the Stryker team will design and prototype a device(s) that allow a nurse to access key areas of a patient’s skin with minimal movement of the patient, and minimal effort by the nurse.
Pressure Injuries in the ICU
Pressure injuries, previously called pressure ulcers or bed sores, result from prolonged pressure on the skin. ICU patients in the hospital have multiple factors that make pressure injuries a particularly challenging problem in this environment. Some examples include reduced mobility, fragile skin, medical devices, certain medications, contraindications, nursing priorities, and availability.
Stryker in the ICU:
For the purposes of this project, assume the patient is laying on a Stryker ProCuity hospital bed that has an Isolibrium support surface. Some of the features of both products are highlighted below:
Stryker, together with its customers, is driven to make healthcare better. Stryker is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, and a Fortune 500 company, based in Kalamazoo, MI. One of Stryker’s goals of making healthcare better is by preventing pressure injuries.
Pressure injuries, previously known as “bed sores”, are literally killing 6.8 people in the U.S. every hour because they can go undetected, misdiagnosed, or poorly treated. The fatalities happen when pressure injuries become an open wound, and develop into deadly infections. Pressure injuries cost the US Healthcare system an estimated $9.1-$11.6 billion annually, with the average cost of a pressure injury ranging from $20,900 – $151,700 depending on severity. What makes these numbers challenging for hospitals is that hospital-acquired pressure injuries are considered “never events” by nearly all insurance companies and Medicare/Medicaid. That means hospitals do not get reimbursed for these costs. Lastly, hospital-acquired pressure injuries are the 2nd most common cause of civil suits alleging medical malpractice.
Minimum Viable Product Deliverable (Minimum level of success)
- Design and prototype a concept that allows a clinician to access common locations of a pressure injury when the patient is lying flat and supine, while minimizing the amount of movement of the patient, and decreasing the effort required by the nurse. Common locations for pressure injuries are the sacrum, coccyx, spine, scapula, and heels. The design should factor in various skin tones and body morphologies
- Complete literature/background review that includes basic understanding of pressure injuries, how they are assessed in a hospital, and the challenges with assessments
- Complete literature/background review that includes current internal Stryker knowledge, and competitive technologies
- Determine system requirements
- Brainstorm multiple concepts to address the problems
- Choose the best concept, and develop a basic prototype
Expected Final Deliverable (Expected level of success)
- Obtain feedback on the basic prototype function from multiple stakeholders, and incorporate these into a refined second version of the prototype
- Validate the performance against the requirements
Stretch Goal Opportunities: (High level of success)
- The concept may also add a way to include the following use cases:
- Raise the head of the bed to 30 degrees, which is a common angle for patients in the ICU. To counteract the tendency for the patient to slide down in bed, the thigh section should also be raised to 15 degrees
- In addition to minimizing the effort by the nurse, the added time to accomplish the task should be minimized
Mechanical Design (3-4 Students)
Specific Skills: Mechanical design, prototype development and refinement, basic electrical circuit and controls development
(Completion of ME 314 or equivalent a plus)
Likely Majors: ME, BME, ROB
Embedded Systems and Controls (1-2 Students)
Specific Skills: Controls system design, embedded systems design and integration
Likely Majors: EE, CE
Anatomy and Patient Health (1 Student)
Specific Skills: Strong knowledge of human anatomy, interest in patient health care
Students will participate in other aspects of the project, such as prototype development and testing
Likely Majors: KINES, BME, PUBHLTH
Additional Desired Skills/Knowledge/Experience
- Stryker culture is high-energy and quality driven. We value those who are good team members, demonstrating a hands-on, proactive approach to their work. We particularly appreciate teammates able to work across disciplinary categories and contribute widely
- Passion for the field of health care
- Knowledge of human anatomy
- Successful team-based experience
- Practical fabrication skills: 3D printing, fast prototyping, sensor/hardware integration, CAD, machining, etc.
Sr Principal Engineer – Mechanical
Richard has been in new product development at Stryker for 22 years. He is the owner of 60 granted patents, and has been a part of multiple successful product launches. Richard has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Professor Wei Lu’s research interests include Energy storage and electrochemistry; simulation of nano/microstructure evolution; mechanics in nano/micro systems; advanced manufacturing; mechanical properties and performance of advanced materials and relation to microstructures.
Weekly Meetings: During the winter 2024 semester, the Stryker team will meet on North Campus on Fridays from 3:00 – 5:00 PM.
Work Location: Work will take place on campus in Ann Arbor, with occasional visits to the Stryker office in Portage, MI to access equipment, hold meetings, and give presentations. MDP will provide transportation. All other meetings with Stryker will be held via video or teleconference.
Course Substitutions: CE MDE, ChE Elective, EE MDE, CoE Honors, MECHENG 490, SI Elective/Cognate
Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students. Note: International students on an F-1 visa will be required to declare part time CPT during Winter 2024 and Fall 2024 terms.
IP/NDA: Students will sign IP/NDA documents that are unique to Stryker.
Summer Project Activities: Students will be guaranteed an interview for a 2024 summer internship. The interviews will take place before the end of February of 2024. Note: You must have the right work in the U.S.A indefinitely, without sponsorship, to participate in the summer internship program.