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Smart Medical Technology
It’s estimated that over forty-four million hospital patients must be transferred from one surface to another each year.
This common task can often result in injuries for hospital personnel performing these lifts, often on obese individuals. Each day the average nurse lifts 1.8 tons per shift. And that a whopping 12% of nurses leave the profession due to back pain, and 52% complain of chronic back pain. Patients may also suffer pain, skin tears, abrasions, dislocations, tube dislodgement or even be dropped. Hail to the Liftaem™, a lateral transfer patient system invented by James Patrick, CEO of Smart Medical Technology and inventor of the Liftaem™.
Mr. Patrick shared with healthyblackmen.org that his path was somewhat foretold in that his father and father-in-law were both small business owners, sowing the seed for his 1994 healthcare company which focused on home healthcare medical equipment. Both James and his wife Sandra of forty years have roots in the medical field and Chicago’s south side; She as a rehabilitation nurse and he with the pharmaceutical industry. Enjoying their current success, they’ve also seen tough times, including the death of their first child, who suffered from a congenital kidney disease. He died in 1988.
Listening to the inventor talk about helping others and making a difference, you understand how his loss drives his passion. Seeing the bariatric market was underserved given the prevalence of morbidly obese patients and the hassle associated with the cost and maintenance of specialty beds, an idea was born.
“I looked at the challenges and thought there had to be a better way. The use of air in a mattress actually proved to be a good design. And once you introduce design, you have to make sure you change the culture—we did that.”
The success of the Liftaem™ system is in large part because it solves an inherent costly problem while producing multiple benefits. It allows transfers to be accomplished by just one health care professional with virtually no risk of injury to the patient or themselves. The device is also cost effective and manages infection control as it’s a single use device. While parts of the Liftaem™ are manufactured in China, the cart component is made in Illinois.
As CEO of Smart Medical Technology, Inc. Mr. Patrick says, “This is no time to be shortsighted if you have a good idea.” In fact, he’s going global with opportunities in India, the Middle East, Brazil, and Southeast Asia. “Personal passion is unequivocally what motivates me in my work.”