Cutting-edge technology supports the care of terminally ill people in Newcastle through pressure ulcer risk assessment

BBI Europe Ltd have worked with Marie Curie, the UK’s leading charity for people with any terminal illness, to undertake a successful pilot scheme to improve the care and well-being of people in its specialist palliative care services at the Marie Curie Hospice, Newcastle. Through investment in state-of-the-art scanning technology (SEM Scanner) a number of terminally ill patients have been saved from the potential distress and pain that can be caused by pressure ulcer (PUs).

PUs can affect anyone who is immobile for a period of time, with the elderly and chronically ill being at most risk. Despite being mostly avoidable, PUs are the most reported cause of harm in the NHS; causing acute pain, extending stays in hospital and even leading to fatal complications in severe cases 1.

The care of PU places a significant drain on already stretched healthcare services in the UK. Around 700,000 PUs are reported every year2, costing the NHS more than £3million per day to manage.

Key to successful management is early risk assessment and intervention to prevent tissue damage. The SEM Scanner, manufactured by Bruin Biometrics, is able to detect PUs around five days before they are visible on the skin3.

Prior to the introduction of the SEM Scanner at Marie Curie’s Newcastle hospice, one key defense in the fight against PUs was visual inspection to spot warning signs (only possible once present on the skin). This not only places high demands on the medical and nursing teams in terms of time, but also limits the opportunity for early interventions.

Gillian Raine. Lead Nurse. Marie Curie Hospice, Newcastle: “this is a positive step to improving the care people receive at Marie Curie hospices, highlighting how the charity is committed to supporting innovations in how we care for and support people living with terminal illnesses.”

Colin Priestley, MD EMEA, BBI Europe Ltd stated: “We are delighted to work in partnership with Marie Curie to help reduce the impact of pressure ulcers on patients and their families at such a challenging time.”

Notes to Editor

About pressure ulcers (PUs)

PUs can be very painful, causing significant suffering to the person affected and may leave them open to the risk of infection where the skin is broken. Reducing the 700,000 PUs2 and the 780 deaths1 that occur a year as a result in the UK to almost none is an achievable goal.

If you’ve got questions about terminal illness or simply want someone to talk to, call the Marie Curie Support Line (0800 090 2309*) for free confidential support and practical information on all aspects of terminal illness. *Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

About BBI Europe Ltd

Bruin Biometrics (BBI LLC) a pioneer in biometric-sensor based medical devices, develops point-of-care diagnostic solutions for early risk assessment and monitoring of chronic, preventable conditions. The company’s first product is the SEM Scanner, a hand-held non-invasive device that assesses sub-epidermal moisture, an early indicator for pressure damage (pressure ulceration, deep tissue injury). SEM Scanner is CE Mark approved. It is currently in full commercial launch in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada. SEM Scanner is pending approval from FDA and is not available for sale in the United Sales.

BBI is based in Los Angeles, USA and maintains a European office in Manchester, UK.

For more information please contact:
Kate Hancock, Vice President Marketing and Communications, BBI Europe Ltd.
Email –
Mobile – 07827315347


1. Deaths from selected causes, ONS 2015. Available at Accessed February 2018
2. NHS Stop the pressure. Available at Accessed February 2018
3. Marie Curie SEM Scanner PURP Evaluation Ref TBC
4. The Relationship between nurses’ assessment of early pressure ulcer damage and sub-epidermal moisture measurement: A prospective explorative study. Study data presented at EPUAP 2015 conference in Ghent, Belgium by Gillian O’Brien, Royal College of Surgery in Ireland

Marie Curie – care and support through terminal illness

Marie Curie is the UK’s leading charity for people with any terminal illness. The charity helps people living with a terminal illness and their families make the most of the time they have together by delivering expert hands-on care, emotional support, research and guidance. Marie Curie employs more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, and with its nine hospices around the UK, is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS.

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