Friday, 06 March 2015

Pioneering Skin Scanner Trial Underway

An innovative technology that detects the early signs of tissue damage is being trialled at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The unique mobile skin scanning device is the latest in a series of tactics that the health trust is using to shift the focus from treatment to prevention to reduce the number of avoidable pressure ulcers in its hospitals.  

The SEM Scanner™ is produced by Bruin Biometrics, a Los Angeles-based company that specialises in the development of biometric sensing medical diagnostics.  The hand held device uses non-invasive biosensor technology to measure SEM (sub-epidermal moisture) to spot the early warning signs of pressure-induced skin damage 3-10 days before any damage is visible to the naked eye.  

Lead Nurse for Tissue Viability Tracy Vernon said: “We are currently trialling two SEM scanners on wards and assessment areas across the Trust.  We hope these scanners will provide us with another way of shielding vulnerable patients from the unnecessary pain that pressure ulcers cause.  Trying out new technologies complements our pressure ulcer reduction strategy and helps us to contribute to reducing avoidable harm to patients.”

The month long pilot started on 23 February 2015 and is being used for the first time by the Trust’s tissue viability nurses on patients who are most at risk of developing skin ulcers – those with limited mobility and poor health.  

The SEM scanner device works by emitting low amplitude signals from electrode structures that are placed on a patient’s skin where damage is most likely to occur, for example the heels, buttocks, elbows and shoulders.  The sensors in the devices are able to measure the level of inflammation changes in the skin and detect the early formation of pressure ulcers.  

Information about the causes and how to avoid pressure ulcers can be found on the NHS Choices website on 

About the SEM Scanner™

SEM Scanner is a hand-held wound assessment device to detect early-stage pressure ulcers and deep tissue injury (DTI). SEM Scanner uses non-invasive biosensor technology to measure sub-epidermal moisture (SEM), a biophysical marker associated with localized edema in the initial inflammatory phase of pressure ulcer formation. SEM has been found to indicate tissue damage three to ten days before visible symptoms or pressure ulcer formation. The SEM Scanner produces real-time information for the objective evaluation of tissue health status to guide targeted intervention. SEM Scanner launched in the UK market in 2014 with CE Marking; BBI is working with FDA to make the SEM Scanner available in the US market in 2016.

About Pressure Ulcers

Pressure ulcers, otherwise known as "bedsores" or "pressure sores", are areas of localised damage to the skin and/or underlying tissue – usually over an area of bony prominence – as a result of pressure with shear and/or friction. Across Europe and the United States, it is estimated that 18%-25% of patients in both acute care and long-term care settings suffer from pressure ulcers, disproportionately impacting the elderly and patients with limited mobility. It is widely believed that 80%-95% of pressure ulcers are preventable, causing them to be deemed "never events" in the US and "medical errors" in Europe. As a cause of disfigurement, infection (e.g., sepsis, MRSA) and death, with estimates costs of over £2 billion in the UK and close to $11B in the US, pressure ulcer management has risen to the national health agenda for many countries.

About Bruin Biometrics

Bruin Biometrics LLC, a pioneer in biometric-sensor based medical devices, is committed to the development of point-of-care diagnostic solutions that improve the care standards and drastically reduce the costs of care for chronic, preventable conditions where the burden of costs lies with the healthcare provider and is flagged by policy makers as high priority. BBI's lead product, the SEM Scanner, is setting a new standard of care in the $15+ billion pressure ulcer detection and prevention market affecting 25% of acute care hospital and long-term care patients – typically the elderly and immobile patients.

SEM Scanner is CE Mark approved and is currently in full commercial launch in the EU. SEM Scanner is not currently for sale in the United States. To learn more about Bruin Biometrics and the SEM Scanner, please visit


Sam Brown, Inc. for Bruin Biometrics LLC
Lynsey Conway
07778 304233

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