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Feasibility of a Novel Smart Surface System for Monitoring Patients at risk of Pressure Injuries in a Post-Acute Care Facility

Interface pressure (IP) and skin microclimate have been identified as critical risk factors in pressure injury (PI) development. Prevention protocols that rely on intermittent physical assessment of mobility, temperature, and humidity limit the ability of care providers to identify risk levels, deliver personalized care, and measure the effectiveness of interventions. The authors compared continuous sensor monitoring by a noninvasive smart surface to nurses’ intermittent physical assessment of parameters related to skin integrity.

Patients identified as at risk of PIs received standard of care while placed on the smart surface for timed intervals. Nurses’ assessment data were collected at 3-hourly time points using a comprehensive tool developed for the study. Comparative statistical analysis was conducted between the two datasets. Sensor-generated data correlated strongly with nurse-collected data at cross-sectional intervals. The technology’s ability to accurately measure PI risk factors supports nursing practice. Supplementary data generated has the potential to improve resource allocation by informing targeted microclimate management strategies and decreasing unnecessary interventions. The large volume of data collected will be used as a basis for AI applications with the potential to inform other clinical decision-making areas.

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