Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2018.


Computer Engineering; Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Daniel Lewis

Second Advisor

Sally Wood


Pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores, are a widespread but often understated problem. A pressure ulcer is an injury that develops with constant pressure on an area of skin for a long time. They range from bruises to open wounds to even exposed bone. These injuries especially impact bedridden and elderly hospital inpatients, since these people must depend on nursing staff for mobility.

Pressure ulcers can seem to be a solved problem. Solutions that completely eliminate pressure ulcers do exist. These solutions, however, are too expensive for widespread use, at thousands of dollars per bed. Other solutions, such as relying on nursing staff to move all patients is not reliable, and nurses develop chronic back pain from the strain of moving so many patients so often.

The Pressure Ulcer Prevention System is designed specifically to be an affordable solution for these injuries in a hospital or assisted living setting. The system collects data from a gyroscopic sensor and multiple pressure sensors mounted on the patient, and sends an alert to the nurses’ station if a patient is at risk of developing a pressure ulcer, and needs attending. The system does not replace nurse care, nor does it change the most common solution of manually moving patients, but it instead helps nursing staff be more efficient.