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Indy firm launches bedsore weapon

June 16, 2010

The latest idea from Dr. James Spahn, an Indianapolis health care entrepreneur, should help hospitals and nursing homes do a better job of preventing severe bedsores, or pressure ulcers. That’s good, because Medicare and private health insurers increasingly won’t pay to treat them.

Spahn has launched WoundVision, a portable imaging machine that uses heat-sensitive, infrared beams to detect activity under a patient's skin. The machine produces digital images that can detect and predict pressure ulcers before they’re visible to the eye.

“As pressure-ulcer incidence continues to rise and cause problems throughout all levels of the health care industry, caregivers and health care executives are now, more than ever, feeling the need for a long-term solution,” Spahn said in a statement. “Our imaging system provides an objective and unbiased analysis to support health care providers’ diagnoses and care plans.”

Spahn also leads Indianapolis-based EHOB Inc., which he founded in 1985. It makes Waffle overlays for mattresses, seats and feet to prevent pressure ulcers.

WoundVision has been in development for 4-1/2 years. In 2008, the federal Medicare program stopped paying hospitals and nursing homes for the care needed to heal a pressure ulcer that a patient develops while under their care. Private insurers such as Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. also have stopped for such follow-up care.

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