Virgin Care and Bruin Biometrics – preventing pressure ulcers in community hospitals
Virgin Care’s approach to pressure ulcers in the community is an example of how we look to the innovation community to solve healthcare challenges. Pressure ulcers are painful, can lead to terrible infections and delayed recovery in hospital. Importantly, if they are discovered early they can be avoided. Visual inspection methods such as Braden and Waterlow are the standard of care today but these methods cannot detect underlying tissue damage, which often results in patients developing what could be an avoidable pressure ulcer. Virgin Care is determined to do better.
Virgin Care is funding an extended pilot with Bruin Biometrics to help identify pressure ulcers before they even become visible. Bruin has developed a non-invasive, hand held sub-epidermal moisture (SEM) scanner, which can detect underlying inflammation 4-10 days earlier than current patient assessment tools, thereby ‘making the invisible visible’.
In partnership with Bruin, Virgin ran a commercial feasibility pilot in a community hospital in Surrey. Bruin provided training and support to clinical staff and helped gather clinical outcomes as well as staff and patient feedback.
During the first five months, hospital-acquired pressure ulcers fell to zero and false positives were identified, improving patients’ lives and efficiency. Scanners are operated by healthcare assistants, and ‘have become part of our everyday routine’ according to staff. We have even had examples of patients proactively asking to be scanned and are observing greater awareness of pressure ulcers among both staff and patients.
Due to the initial success of the pilot, both parties agreed to extend the relationship and Virgin Care want this partnership to continue to improve patient care and become another example of Virgin Care’s enthusiasm to embrace innovation.
Parker Moss, CTO, Virgin Care
– Colin Priestley, EMEA Managing Director, Bruin Biometrics