New BBI Scanner delivers step-change in Pressure Injury prevention

Prevention made real: BBI (Europe) Ltd’s innovative technology delivering 90% (weighted) reduction1 in Pressure lnjuries/Pressure Ulcers incidence in Acute Care Sites

BBI is a pioneer in biometric-sensor based medical devices, developing point of care diagnostic solutions for early identification and monitoring of chronic, preventable conditions. In the European market since 2014, BBI’s first product to market was the SEM Scanner, which is a hand-held, wireless device which objectively alerts clinicians to specific anatomical areas of a patient’s body at increased risk for developing pressure injuries/pressure ulcers (PI/PUs).2

BBI was founded in 2009 through a technology license from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a relentless commitment to using technology to improve the way that health care is delivered. 

In 2019, the SEM Scanner received recognition and accreditation for its innovative technology and evidence based results across a number of international territories:

  • November 2019: The 2019 Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers/Injuries: Clinical Practice Guideline recognised the critical significance of the SEM biomarker as PI/Us develop.3
  • May 2019: UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) released a Medtech innovation Briefing (MIB) on BBI’s SEM Scanner
  • January 2019: BBI began marketing the SEM Scanner in the USA having received U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) marketing authorisation for the SEM Scanner in December 2018; becoming the world’s first FDA-authorised PI/U risk assessment device.

In 2020, BBI is launching ProvizioTM SEM Scanner: the next generation SEM Scanner and the first hand-held, wireless PI/PU risk assessment device with data transfer capabilities. By digitally enhancing the existing care pathway across all healthcare settings, BBI is creating a new paradigm for PI/PU prevention.

The scale of the PI/PU problem in the UK

PI/PUs can unfortunately affect anyone who is immobile for a period of time, with the elderly and chronically ill being at most risk. Despite being mostly avoidable, PI/PUs are the most reported cause of harm in the NHS4; causing acute pain, extending stays in hospital and even leading to fatal complications in severe cases.5

Figures from BBI research estimates one out of every 22 people in England currently have an open wound on their skin caused by a PI/PU and 14 per cent of these expose the bone6

The care of PI/PUs places a significant drain on already stretched healthcare services in the UK. Research from NHS Improvement7 shows that treating pressure damage costs the NHS more than £3.8m per day, and that a huge 1,700-2,000 patients per month develop PI/PUs.

Figures obtained under a Freedom of Information request from NHS Resolution (formerly the NHS Litigation Authority) reveal the increasing financial impact of pressure ulcer claims against NHS Trusts from the year 2014/15 to 2017/18 (latest figures available) 8:

  • 43% increase in the number of claims received for PI/PUs from 279 to 399

  • A total of £72,404,574 paid in claims during these four years and an increase of 53% from £13,618,669 (2014/15) to £20,828,669 (2017/18)

Through collaborating with medical institutions, BBI has demonstrated the SEM Scanner, when used as an adjunct to current standard of care, can identify increased risk of PI/PUs on the sacrum and heels five days*2 before it becomes visible on the skin surface. This is welcome for patients at risk, as not all incipient damage will progress to a PI/PU especially when anatomically-specific interventions are applied before damage manifests at the skin’s surface. The SEM Scanner has been proven to result in an 90% (weighted) reduction in hospital acquired PI/PUs in Acute Care sites whilst a 47% reduction was shown in a Hospice Care facility and lastly 27% reduction in Community Care.1

Commenting on these figures, Martin Burns, CEO, BBI said “We do not need to see increasing PI/PU numbers like this, especially when devices like the new ProvizioTM SEM Scanner can make prevention a reality. A growing number of Tissue Viability Nurses (TVNs) have developed their own updated care protocols and are using these collaboratively with BBI’s innovative technology to achieve reductions in PI/PUs incidence; on average achieving an 90% (weighted) reduction in Acute Care sites1. This updated approach is allowing these forward-thinking TVNs to keep their patients free from harm, freeing up NHS beds, using less nursing time to treat patients with PI/PUs , and are saving their facilities money.”

Used in UK

To date in the UK&I alone, BBI has collaborated with more than 46 different healthcare facilities who now have experience of using BBI’s SEM Scanner within a number of different settings including:

    • Medical

    • Orthopedic

    • Elderly Care

    • Intensive Care

    • Vascular Care

    • End Of Life Care

    • Surgical

    • Stroke / Rehabilitation

    • Renal

The SEM Scanner is CE Mark approved. It is currently in full commercial launch in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.


Over the past three years, the evidence based results and innovative technology of the SEM Scanner has been recognised with it receiving seven major awards, including:

  • BioNow Product of the Year Award’ 2019
  • Patient Safety Innovation Award’ in the North-West Coast Research and Innovation Awards 2019
  • Most Innovative Product’ from the Journal of Wound Care awards 2018
  • Best Innovation in Medical Technology’ from the Health Service Journal awards 2018

In selecting the SEM Scanner from technologies across all health care fields, judges for Health Service Journal, which covers publicly-funded healthcare, said: “This winner was a genuine game changer. It uses physics to change the way this condition is identified and prevented through earlier treatment. This has a massive impact for patients across hospitals and the community and has applicability across all economies in the UK. It will save substantial amounts of money and time for the NHS.”

PI/PU Prevention Advisory Board (supported by an educational grant by BBI (Europe) Ltd – established 2017)

Its aim: To review and develop PI/PU prevention guidance and risk assessment tools in clinical practice, education and research. The aim being to improve clinical knowledge, patient experience and drive quality outcomes.

In 2019 the Advisory Board released a booklet ‘Implementing Early Identification of Increased Risk of Pressure Ulcer in Care Pathways’.

Its members:

  • Professor Karen Ousey, Director, Institute of Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention, University of Huddersfield
  • Jacqui Fletcher, Independent Healthcare Consultant, Jacqui Fletcher Limited
  • Jeanette Milne, Clinical Lead, Tissue Viability, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Glenn Smith, Nurse Prescriber, St Helens Medical Centre, Isle of Wight
  • Alison Schofield, Tissue Viability Service Lead & Clinical Nurse Specialist and Trust Quality Pressure Ulcer Prevention Clinical Lead, North Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Foundation Trust
  • Mark Collier, Independent Healthcare Consultant
  • Louise O’Connor, Lead Nurse, Tissue Viability, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust



  1. Wood Z., et al. (2020). Reducing Pressure Injury (PI) Incidence through the Introduction of Technology. Accepted for NPIAP, Houston, US
  2. Okonkwo H., et al. (2020). A blinded clinical study using a subepidermal moisture Biocapacitance measurement device for early detection of pressure injuries. Wound Repair and Regeneration 1-11
  3. European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel and Pan Pacific Pressure Injury Alliance. (2019). Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers/Injuries: Clinical Practice Guideline. The International Guideline. Emily Hasler Ed.). EPUAP/NPIAP/PPPIA
  4. NHS Safety Thermometer, NHS Digital. (2018)
  5. Deaths from selected causes, ONS (2015). Available at Accessed February 2018
  6. Number of PUs calculation: 4.4% (NHS Safety Thermometer prevalence Oct 2019) multiplied by 55,977,200 (
  7. NHS Improvement. (2018). Pressure ulcers: revised definition and measurement
  8. Information obtained under the FOI Act from NHS Resolution (3630). (2019)


About BBI: 

BBI (Bruin Biometrics), is a pioneer in modernising health care with biometric sensor technology for early identification and monitoring of chronic, preventable conditions in collaboration with clinicians. BBI has been the recipient of multiple awards with recognition from organisations such as Journal of Wound Care, Health Service Journal and Frost & Sullivan. BBI is based in Los Angeles and maintains a European office in Manchester, UK. 

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