The University of Huddersfield’s Pressure Ulcer Experts Team up Bruin Biometrics Based in Los Angeles - European Medical Journal

The University of Huddersfield’s Pressure Ulcer Experts Team up Bruin Biometrics Based in Los Angeles

7 Mins

The strategic alliance will focus on the use of the SEM scanner early detection technology to attack the UK’s £2 billion+ health problem

9 August, 2017 – An innovative research collaboration between the University of Huddersfield and the Los Angeles-based medical device company Bruin Biometrics (BBI, LLC) has been revealed.

Experts at the University’s award-winning Institute for Skin Integrity & Infection Prevention (ISaIP) will apply their knowledge to research using BBI’s SEM Scanner technology, a handheld device that can detect pressure ulcers developing under the skin earlier than visual inspection of the skin surface.

“Living with pressure ulcers is a long and involved journey for patients and their caregivers, and a heavy cost burden on the NHS,” said Professor Karen Ousey of the University’s Skin Institute.

“It is critical for researchers and clinicians to embrace new technology to prevent avoidable patient harm so patients might have a better chance to reach optimal outcomes. We are delighted to collaborate with Bruin Biometrics on this important project.”

SEM Scanner was recently awarded Health Service Journal’s award for Best Product or Innovation for Patient Safety for its role in reducing pressure ulcer incidence in NHS hospitals.

The partnership aims to transform care for pressure ulcers by harnessing the expertise in fundamental science and clinical medicine at both the University and BBI to address the full continuum of that care, from prediction and diagnosis to new therapies and intervention monitoring, to identify opportunities to improve the patient experience and outcomes.

This research will be ground-breaking in its contribution to the biological understanding of pressure ulcer development – Professor Gefen

The research will be co-led by Professor Ousey, and Professor Amit Gefen, a Visiting Professor from the Tel Aviv University and an international authority on biomechanics and mechanobiology contributing to the pathology of chronic wounds.

“This work directly supports the overall vision of the Institute to provide translational research which fundamentally improves quality of life for patients through a “bench to bedside” approach entrenched in scientifically rigorous methods with a clinical focus,” said Professor Ousey, a member of BBI’s Scientific Advisory Board.  Professor Ousey was recently shortlisted for Tissue Viability Nurse of the Year for 2017 by the British Journal of Nursing and is a winner of the Journal of Wound Care’s 2017 Best Clinical Research Award.

Professor Gefen is the former President of the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (EPUAP), recipient of recent career awards from the World Union of Wound Healing Societies (2016) and the EPUAP (2017) and Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Biomechanics.

He said:  “This research will be ground-breaking in its contribution to the biological understanding of pressure ulcer development, including the use of biophysical markers, such as sub-epidermal moisture (SEM), to support early detection, personalization of pressure ulcer care and implementation of innovative technology-supported clinical approaches.”

The partnership was developed on the heels of the Wound Care: Innovations to Clinical Trials (WCICT) conference where Professor Ousey and Dr Gefen were joined by experts Professor Zena Moore (Head of the School of Nursing & Midwifery at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), Professor Dimitri Beeckman (Ghent University, Department of Public Health), and Henry Okonkwo, PA (Skilled Wound Care) where they emphasised the need for new technology for pressure ulcer prevention, such as the SEM Scanner.

“BBI and the University of Huddersfield share a vision of transforming pressure ulcer management through early detection technology so we can precisely diagnose, treat and possibly even prevent pressure ulcers from occurring,” said  Rachael Lester, BBI’s Vice President Product.

“We anticipate that our work together will provide new insight that adds to earlier findings showing that the SEM Scanner provides an alert to enable clinicians to intervene early and reverse damage before pressure ulcers break through the skin and turn potentially deadly.”

About Pressure Ulcers
Pressure ulcers (also known as “bedsores”) can lead to pain, disfigurement, infection and deadly complications that kill more people annually than any form of cancer except lung cancer. The National Health Service spends £2.1bn – four percent of its annual budget – on bedsore treatment and prevention. The ulcers result from pressure involving shear and/or friction and sustained tissue distortion causing localized damage to the skin and underlying tissue, usually around areas of bony prominence — such as the vertebra, tailbone, heels, and hips.

Across Europe and the United States, an estimated 18 to 25 percent of patients in both acute care and long-term care settings suffer from pressure ulcers, which disproportionately impact 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.

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 University of Huddersfield
Founded in 1841, the University of Huddersfield has grown to become Times Higher Education University of the Year 2013. We have been rated by QS Stars as a 4-star university with the highest five star ratings for teaching excellence, internationalisation, student facilities, access and employability.

UoH is the UK’s leading university for the receipt of National Teaching Fellowships to mark Britain’s best lecturers in Higher Education for the past nine years and was awarded Gold Status for the Teaching Excellence Framework in 2017.

It hosts world-leading applied research groups in biomedical sciences, engineering and physical sciences, social sciences and arts and humanities.

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 a recipient of Frost & Sullivan’s New Product Innovation Award and Health Service Journal’s award for Best Product or Innovation for Patient Safety. 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 Follow BBI on Twitter at

The University of Huddersfield – Inspiring Tomorrow’s Professionals
The University of Huddersfield has a growing reputation as an inspiring, innovative provider of higher education of international renown.  Recognised as a leader in enterprise and innovation, the University has been the recipient of the Times Higher Education’s University of the Year Award and Entrepreneurial University of the Year and was awarded a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.  In the 2015, the University achieved 5 star status from international ratings organisation QS Stars in the areas of teaching, internationalisation, employability, and for facilities and access.   It is currently number one in England for the proportion of staff with teaching qualifications and recently became one of the few universities in the UK to be awarded the ‘Gold’ standard in the Government’s new Teaching Excellence Framework.

The University annually welcomes over 19,000 students to a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across subjects covering…

…the sciences, engineering and IT

…health, education and the social sciences

…business, management, law and accountancy

…architecture, design, humanities and the arts.

The University of Huddersfield’s researchers are dedicated to solving the problems and answering the questions posed by industry, science and society as a whole.  Its research is showcased by internationally-recognised centres of excellence, strategic industry relationships and a commitment to providing state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

The Chancellor of the University is His Royal Highness The Duke of York, KG, and the Vice-Chancellor is Professor Bob Cryan CBE.

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