The Personal Care E-ssistant earned recognition from the university’s annual electrical engineering competition.

Image by Hadassah Fromowitz

Electrical engineering students at Arizona State University (ASU) designed a hospital bed that addresses an issue facing care facilities.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 2.5 million U.S. patients develop pressure ulcers and approximately 60,000 die annually as a direct result. ASU students reimagined hospital beds and came up with the award-winning Personal Care E-ssistant.

Team members Makayla Donaldson, Hadassah Fromowitz, Robert Graves, Olivia Ruthven and Timothy Sparks were all online students who collaborated remotely for two semesters to design and build the hospital bed. Their project won the ASU Department of Electrical Engineering’s Palais Senior Design Prize.

The Personal Care E-ssistant addresses three major factors that can result in pressure ulcers: prolonged pressure, poor blood circulation and friction. 

The bed’s subsystems raise and lower the left and right sides of the bed 30 degrees, and slowly raise and lower the patient’s upper body and legs according to a schedule determined by caregivers. Sensors detect if patients are positioned too high or low, and notify caregivers. A conveyor belt repositions patients instead of dragging them across the mattress.

Each subsystem works with Wi-Fi for remote operation.