LeadingAge Texas is pleased to announce that Dr. Edward J. Mueller, 66 of in San Antonio, has been named the 2017-2018 Inspirational Senior Texan! The membership voted Dr. Mueller—or Ed, as his friends call him—most worthy of the honor among a pool of his peers from other LeadingAge Texas communities throughout the state. In learning more below about Ed, his community-focused generosity, and the impactful device he has created (going into production next month), you, too, will be inspired.
In a community filled with retired heroes with histories of service to country and others, Ed stands out as he continually inspires friends, neighbors, and staff alike. One would never suspect this incredibly caring, humble man who is often seen playing ping pong with neighbors, on-stage in Christmas skits, introducing Pickleball to the Army Residence Community (The ARC) masses, medaling in Senior Games, attending line dancing, or taking care to personally thank staff, has been listed in Who’s Who, Best Doctors in America, Texas Super Doctors, among other accolades. Beyond his involvement in and contribution to The ARC, it is what Ed has been doing lately in his “spare time” that is currently inspiring those who know him and making waves in the medical field.
After a career devoted to improving the lives of others while simultaneously serving his country, COL(Ret) Mueller, a highly-decorated military and private-practice urologist, found inspiration in a single court case for a new medical device. The case exposed the detrimental cost to both patient and provider by using frustratingly archaic, time-consuming, and imprecise methods to measure and record a patients urinary output. Taking his wife’s advice “to do something about it,” Ed, a prolific contributor to the field of urology, converted his insights to the problem into a potential solution.
With minimal engineering and no manufacturing experience, Ed used his inclusiveness to find individuals who shared his enthusiasm and invited them to be a part of a revolutionary solution. Starting with a call to a colleague, Ed pitched his concept and won the buy-in of his first partner. Together, they brainstormed with world-renowned clinics, nurses, and doctors to hone Ed’s initial concept. Feeding input over two years to talented engineers, the plans became design, then design became prototype. Demonstrating the prototype and sharing his vision netted Ed new discoveries as others pointed to other unforeseen applications and uses. His supporters grew.
Quite simply, the device, Sensica UO, measures urine output in patients. A task ordinarily done by hand, rarely hourly (as ordered), and typically recorded at the end of a shift can now be automated with details electronically displayed at the patient’s bedside, as well as recorded and transmitted wirelessly to the patient’s medical record instantaneously. It even tracks and reminds staff of catheter change times to lower infection rates. Besides freeing up nurses to provide other care, Ed’s idea-turned-reality will give physicians more timely and accurate data with which to make critical treatment decisions. In the ICU alone, the device’s data could prevent acute kidney injury, which costs the U.S. healthcare industry nearly $10 billion annually to treat and costs far too many patients vital organs and even life itself. Most excitingly, the device could potentially transform care in neonatal intensive care units, where measurement has proven so elusive and difficult.
Having achieved necessary safety certifications, applying for four patents (still pending), developing integrated software, and founding a new company to produce the Sensica UO, Ed met the challenge “to do something about it.” His idea—inspired by a lawsuit— stands to impact the entire global community of patients and doctors alike when his life-saving device goes into production this September. Patients will soon enjoy shorter hospital stays, fewer complications, and better outcomes with a more reliable, timely, and accurate tool at the disposal of those who strive to give quality care.
Laura Perry, Resident Services Coordinator, Army Residence Community highlighted that Ed's quest—from idea to invention—serves as inspiration to all who see that age knows no boundaries for those who dare to meet a challenge, fulfill a need, or share a true gift...even in their “spare time.”