NHS Hospitals Report Real-World Evidence of Pressure Ulcer Reduction with SEM Scanner

Early Detection is Key to Overcoming UK’s £2.1bn Health Problem

MANCHESTER, U.K., and LOS ANGELES, U.S.A., December 23, 2016 Using technology adapted from NASA’s Mars lander as part of a large-scale bedsore reduction program, over half of the 13 participating hospitals were able to eliminate the occurrence of new bedsores completely; an additional 3 hospitals achieved reductions ranging from 11% to 90%.

Early Detection is Key to Overcoming UK’s ¬£2.1bn Health Problem

MANCHESTER, U.K., and LOS ANGELES, U.S.A., December 23, 2016 Using technology adapted from NASA’s Mars lander as part of a large-scale bedsore reduction program, over half of the 13 participating hospitals were able to eliminate the occurrence of new bedsores completely; an additional 3 hospitals achieved reductions ranging from 11% to 90%.

Nurses dramatically cut bedsore occurrence by detecting damage developing under patients’ skin early enough to intervene and reverse the damage. This marks a breakthrough in prevention of the chronic condition costing the UK £2.1bn annually which claimed the death of Superman actor, Christopher Reeve.

Bruin Biometrics (BBI LLC), which manufactures the early detection technology, known as the SEM Scanner enlisted 13 hospitals (including 10 NHS Trust sites) to participate in a novel Pressure Ulcer Prevention Program (PURP) incorporating SEM Scanner into existing care pathways for pressure ulcer prevention.

The findings from over 1,200 patients scanned are the most comprehensive real-world evidence that this early detection technology enables nurses to prevent pressure ulcers before they break through the skin, a conclusion that upends the prevailing view that pressure ulcers cannot be diagnosed and treated until they have caused visible and irreversible damage to the skin’s surface.

  • Over 50% of hospitals achieved ZERO new bedsores during the evaluation; An additional three hospitals observed reductions of 11%-90%
  • Nursing leadership reports improved productivity and the release of nursing time
  • Significant cost savings related to reduced length of patient stay and treatment costs

Real-world evaluation data presented by St. Mary’s Hospital (Improved Patient Safety with Use of the SEM Scanner) and Virgin Care (Chasing Zero. Results from a New Pressure Ulcer Prevention Bundle) at the Wounds UK annual conference November 14-16 in Harrogate and are now being released publicly for the first time.

“We reduced pressure ulcers in the ward concerned to zero during our Scanner trial ‚Äì an achievement that, if we rolled out across our hospital, we estimate could save our hospital nearly £600,000 and release 1,420 hours of nurse productivity annually” said Glenn Smith, a tissue viability and nutrition senior clinical nurse specialist/patient safety lead at St. Mary‚Äôs Hospital, part of the NHS Trust on the Isle of Wight, which has a large elderly population at risk for pressure ulcers due to immobility.

“The vast majority of nurses participating in our Scanner study said the device provided valuable clinical information,‚Äù added Parker Moss, chief technology and transformation officer at Virgin Care, which experienced a 95 percent drop in the pressure ulcer rate during an evaluation of the device at Farnham Community Hospital in Surrey, where it provides services to the NHS.”

“These data challenge existing practice that looks for visual changes to skin to initiate bedsore intervention,” BBI CEO Martin Burns said. “Scientific findings show that by the time damage is visible, it is far too late. Early detection changed the prognosis for millions of cancer survivors. The reductions consistently achieved across a broad set of patients and care settings are evidence that the promise of early detection will play out in wound care.”

SEM Scanner is a wireless non-invasive handheld device that assesses sub-epidermal moisture, or SEM, a biophysical marker that has been found to detect early-stage pressure ulcers beneath the skin surface as much as 10 days earlier than visual inspection by nurses.

“SEM Scanner is the first clinically-proven method for detecting unseen pressure ulcers and alerting healthcare practitioners in real time when they begin to form under the skin,” said Rachael Lester, BBI VP of Product. “With early detection, clinicians can initiate treatment before chronic damage develops. More and more clinicians are using the SEM Scanner to ‘Act Before Red’ and overcome avoidable PUs, an accomplishment many nurses pursue relentlessly, despite their frustration with tools currently available to them.”

SEM Scanner was conceived by Barbara Bates-Jensen, a wound care expert and professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and adapted from seismology technology used on NASA’s Mars landing craft to interrogate beneath the planet‚Äôs surface.

About Pressure Ulcers

Pressure ulcers are chronic wounds to the skin and tissue. Pressure ulcers are an area of localized damage to the skin and underlying tissue usually around an area of bony prominence, such as the sacrum, coccyx, heels, and hips that results from pressure involving shear and/or friction.

Pressure ulcers are a common medical problem among the elderly and patients with limited mobility, that can lead to pain, disfigurement, infection and death. In fact, pressure ulcers kill more people annually than any form of cancer except lung cancer.

Until now, diagnosis has relied on visual inspection by nurses, which is subjective and which can only identify pressure ulcers once visible damage to the skin has already begun. With early-detection, experts believe that over 80% of early-stage pressure ulcers can be prevented.

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. There are some 2.5 million pressure ulcer cases annually in the European Union, and nearly 500,000 in the United Kingdom, which spends £2.1bn, or 4% of the NHS budget, on the condition. In the U.S., some 2.5 million Americans develop pressure ulcers annually in acute care facilities, and 60,000 Americans die annually from pressure ulcer complications such as cancer, sepsis, cellulitis, and MRSA.

About BBI
Bruin Biometrics LLC, a pioneer in biometric-sensor based medical devices, is committed to the development of point-of-care diagnostic solutions for early detection 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, a biomarker which has been found to detect early-stage pressure ulcers as much as 10 days earlier than visual observation. Pressure ulcers affect approximately 25% of acute care hospital and long-term care patients typically the elderly and immobile. SEM Scanner is CE Mark approved and is currently in full commercial launch in the EU and Canada. SEM Scanner is not currently for sale in the United States.

BBI is also developing OrthoSonos, a non-invasive device for real-time orthopedic joint monitoring and assessment of prosthetic implant failure; and P02M, the first device for monitoring tissue oxygenation at a specific location in real time. P02M is initially being tested for continual monitoring of tissue and vascular viability in the feet of diabetics. Diabetes can cause peripheral artery disease and peripheral neuropathy, putting patients at risk for foot ulcers.

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

For additional information, visit www.bruinbiometrics.com. Follow BBI on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bruinbiometrics.

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BBI Company Contact:
Martin Burns
Chief Executive Officer
(310) 268-9494

Media Contacts:
Scott Stachowiak
Russo Partners
(646) 942-5630

Amiad Finkelthal

Russo Partners
(646) 942-5626

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