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Sway: Mobile App and Wearable Sensor System for Preventing Pressure Ulcer Formation

Team Members:
  • Jerry Zhang
  • Yoseph Kim
  • Reena Elizebath
  • Nicolle Jaurre
  • Nitish Thakor


Pressure ulcers (PUs) are crater-like wounds which arise from reduced blood flow to a certain area due to prolonged pressure on the skin. Nursing home and home-bound patients are at risk for PU formation and require frequent turning. Despite protocols to prevent their formation, around 11% of nursing home residents develop PUs in a given year. Therefore, caretakers need a simple, efficient device to help reposition patients and prevent pressure ulcers. Sway is a mobile app and wearable device which work in conjunction to prevent pressure ulcer formation. Our wearable has a ring of LEDs that help guide inexperienced caregivers in turning the patient to the optimal angle to reduce pressure. Our two-node design ensures uniform turning and tracks the time between turns to ensure regular repositioning. In addition to sending alerts to remind caregivers to reposition patients after a period of two hours, our companion app provides additional guidance through visual turning graphics and will turn green once the ideal turning angle is reached on both nodes. Finally, a reminder is given to ensure the knees and heels do not touch.


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