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Soft Switches for Person Support Apparatus

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000245537D
Publication Date: 2016-Mar-15
Document File: 8 page(s) / 217K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Relates to a person support apparatus. More specifically, but not exclusively, the disclosure relates to a soft switch for controlling one or more functional item associated with the person support apparatus.

Steve Hankins shankins@rshc-law.com

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Soft Switches for Person Support Apparatus

This disclosure generally relates to a person support apparatus. More specifically, but not exclusively, the disclosure relates to a soft switch for controlling one or more functional item associated with the person support apparatus.

Generally, a healthcare facility is equipped with a number of person support apparatuses. A typical person support apparatus, such as a stand-alone lift apparatus includes a control system for controlling various functional items associated with the person support apparatus. The control system includes a number of switches for controlling the one or more functional items in the form of electronic circuits.

Conventional control systems are composed of various electronic components (including diodes, wires, and transistors). Such electronic components are generally mounted on a printed circuit board (PCB) to form an electronic circuit. However, these PCB’s are generally made of plastic material and are likely to break under an unintentional impact. This may lead to electronic failure of the control system. Further, there may be situations such as an accidental spillage of water over the control system. In those situations, components within the control systems may short with adjacent conductive components, causing a short circuit. This may again lead to electronic failure. 

            The disclosure relates in general to an electronic control system for controlling one or more functional items associated with a person support apparatus. The electronic control system includes an electronic circuit, a waterproof coating, and a controller. The electronic circuit includes a first layer, a second layer, and at least one switch. The first layer is composed of non-conductive material and being flexible to sustain a certain amount of load. The second layer is composed of a conductive flexible material and is embroidered on the first layer. Each of the at least one switch is capable of making an electric contact with the second layer. The second layer generates a signal corresponding to one of the at least one switch making electric contact with the second layer. The waterproof coating is coated over the electronic circuit for substantially enclosing the electronic circuit. The controller receives the signal from the electronic circuit and controls the one or more functionality based on the signal received.

A person support apparatus 100 for supporting a person under medical assistance is shown in FIG. 1. The person support apparatus 100 may include a bed, a mattress, or a lift system, and the like. A standalone lift apparatus is shown as a preferred embodiment in the present disclosure. The person support apparatus 100 is required to perform several operations, such as lifting the person under medical assistance, turning the person, and the like. For example, the standalone apparatus is used to lift a person and move the person in a 3-dimensional plane. Therefore a...