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Pressure ulcer prevention solution set*

The SEM Scanner has been developed by clinicians for clinicians and has been shown in the real world setting to reduce the incidence of hospital acquired pressure ulcers by an average of 89% during a specific pressure ulcer prevention programme[1].

Inflammation is the body’s first response to tissue damage; this increases vasodilation and permeability surrounding blood vessels, leading to leakage of plasma and fluid creating sub-epidermal moisture (otherwise known as localised oedema) in the tissue’s.
As the level of skin damage increases, so does the inflammatory response and accordingly, the resulting level of sub-epidermal moisture in the skin and tissue increases.[2,3]

The SEM Scanner measures the level of sub-epidermal moisture at the sacrum and heels allowing earlier and anatomically targeted PU prevention interventions. Clinical studies have shown that the SEM Scanner can detect sub-epidermal moisture 5 days (median) earlier than visual skin inspection.[4]

(Image courtesy of Prof A Gefen, Tel Aviv University, Israel)

Innovative technology

Designed for Clinicians by clinicians, the SEM Scanner receives high ratings for the ease of use and implementation in existing care pathways
• Worlds first device to detect tissue damage underneath the skin surface using capacitance technology
• Delivers real-time status of tissue damage around the bony prominences of the heels and sacrum allowing ongoing monitoring of skin health
• Very high sensitivity; significant advance over current standard of care

Achieving Pressure Ulcer Incidence Reduction

In collaboration with health care practitioners and researchers, a new paradigm for pressure ulcer is being created
• Proven to detect damage 5 days (median) earlier than visual inspection[4]
• Early detection enables earlier and anatomically targeted interventions and potentially reversal of damage
• Hospitals can identify invisible damage on admission – to ensure accurate reporting on hospital acquired PU
• Engages and empowers patient’s to be aware of own skin health (Verbal Communications with PUP Advisory Board)


Modernising existing care pathway[5] to introduce a non-invasive, objective diagnostic assessment which allows the earlier identification of patients with an otherwise invisible, localised sub-epidermal inflammatory response.

The Positive Eight™ identifies three prerequisites that must be in place to stimulate mobility. Decades of experience working with nurses, caregivers, patients and residents have shown us that mobility/immobility plays a fundamental role in decisions made for the whole care process.
The upper portion pertains to the patient with the lower half relating to the caregiver. Increasing patient mobility and activity naturally leads to a reduced dependency on caregivers. In turn, less strain on the caregiver enables a higher quality of care. When one total cycle of the Positive Eight is completed, another cycle commences. This on-going process can drive a sustainable quality improvement.

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Arjo-Specialist areas-Pressure injury prevention-Skin IQ range_370x280.jpg

Detecting tissue damage earlier gives more time to plan and take the neccessary steps to prevent pressure ulcer formation. Arjo’s comprehensive Pressure Ulcer Prevention Solution Set includes highly specialised medical beds, therapeutic surfaces, microclimate management, transfer aids and safe patient handling products. Many of these can be rented at short notice and potentially delivered the same day if required.

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*The Solution Set including the SEM Scanner is only available in England, Scotland and Wales.


  1. Hancock K., et al. (2018). Integrating Early Detection of Pressure Ulcers (PU) into Universal Prevention Pathways. Abstract 156 presented to Wounds UK, Harrogate, UK, 5-7 November
  2. Bates-Jensen et al. [2008). Subepidermal moisture differentiates erythema and stage I pressure ulcers in nursing home residents. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 16[2). pp.189-197 
  3. Moore et al. [2016). Subepidermal moisture [SEM] and bioimpedance: a literature review of a novel method for early detection of pressure - induced tissue damage [pressure ulcers]. International Wound Journal. 14[2]. pp.331-337
  4. Okonkwo H., et al. [2018]. Differentiating between Healthy Tissue and Early Stage Pressure Injuries: a Pilot Study of the Effectiveness of the SEM Scanner. Abstract 52 presented to 30th NPUAP Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV, 2-3 March 
  5. 1/11/18)