Two-year joint study aims at speeding healing for orthotic/prosthetic patients
(Minneapolis –August, 2014) Augustana Care and Tamarack Habilitation Technologies have begun a collaboration to improve treatment options for patients using orthotic and prosthetic care technology. The first major initiative between these two Minnesota-based organizations begins this fall with the launch of a two-year pilot study to assess new friction management treatment technologies to mitigate the impact of heel and ankle sores for patients.
Leaders from both organizations say the study is a significant step in creating promising new treatment technologies. “We are very excited to have the ability to directly tap the expertise of a medical technology developer like Tamarack Habilitation Technologies on behalf of patients who may experience pressure sores,” said Tim Tucker, president and CEO of Augustana Care. “This kind of collaboration provides firsthand insights for staff in pursuing more effective treatment approaches to improve the lives of patients.”
Tucker notes that over the past 18 months, Tamarack and Augustana Care have increasingly explored the benefits of formal collaboration to address pressure sore issues. Tamarack clinical operations staff has conducted onsite consultations to advance customized care efforts. And earlier this month, Tamarack led the first of a series of intensive, wound-care training sessions for Augustana Care nurses.
“Pressure sores can take an average of three months to heal. Through learning from this collaboration, we hope to decrease that time significantly,” says Julie Thurn-Favilla, corporate director of skilled nursing facilities clinical practice at Augustana Care in Minneapolis.
The study uses friction management technology in the form of a specially designed sock called GlideWear®. The sock is available initially to transitional care patients at Augustana Care’s Minneapolis campus. Tamarack expects a gradual roll-out of multiple sock varieties serving patients in transitional care, acute care, orthotic-prosthetic, podiatry, sports medicine and military settings over the next 24 months.
The two companies first connected following a recommendation by the administrator of orthopedic services at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Tamarack CEO Joe Hofmeister only expects the collaboration to grow in coming years.
“Augustana Care has consistently expressed an interest in collaboration to develop new products that speed healing,” says Hofmeister. “This friction management pilot is only the first of a budding relationship between our organizations; one that we expect will benefit patients significantly in years to come.”
Hofmeister explains that a successful conclusion to the pilot study will lead to further efforts to make such technology publicly available. “We are exploring other therapies to improve life for older adults and others suffering from pressure sore issues,” said Hofmeister. “In fact, the two organizations are already working to evaluate the efficacy of other friction management innovations, including wheelchair cushions, headrest covers, and bed sheets.”
About Augustana Care
Based in Minneapolis, the non-profit Augustana Care provides senior housing, health care and community-based services to older generations and others in need—and helps residents live the lives that most inspire them. The principles that guide its work are as follows:
- To value older generations’ talents and experience
- To provide the care residents need, when and where they need it
- To connect residents to the people and things that mean the most to them
- To support residents and families with spiritual care that speaks to who they are
Learn more about Augustana Care at www.augustanacare.org.
About Tamarack Habilitation Technologies
Based in Blaine, Minnesota, Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, Inc. is a med-tech product development and manufacturing company specializing in ankle-foot biomechanics, wheelchair seating, and friction management technologies. As manufacturer of the renowned “Tamarack Flexure Joint®” for custom-fabricated, ankle-foot orthoses, Tamarack distributes its products worldwide in the orthotic & prosthetic, complex rehabilitation, and consumer markets.
Tamarack’s most recent product innovation, the GlideWear® Prosthetic Liner Patch, was developed to help amputees relieve and prevent discomfort and skin breakdown in residual limbs. For more information about Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, visit www.tamarackhti.com
Jenna Zark, Director of Communications
Jason Pawelsky, Sales & Marketing Manager
Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, Inc.