Real-Time Human Pressure Ulcer Prevention Detection Simulator

It is estimated that pressure ulcers place a $1.2 billion annual burden on the U.S. health care system, partially because of the complexity of identifying, treating and managing these wounds. A patient simulator that provides real-time information will reduce the occurrence of preventable medical error costs through hands-on training and education.

The ulcer prevention detection simulator is a mannequin and real-time computer-based technology therapeutic device that mimics the human body to register pressure for biomechanical assessment capabilities. The device empowers clinical facilities to eliminate secondary costs arising from hospital-derived pressure ulcers, which are considered a “non-event” for Medicare billing purposes.

Invention Summary

Researchers have developed a human patient simulator specifically for education in pressure ulcer management and prevention. This simulator mimics the bioinformatics of a geriatric patient and delivers real-time information to educate practitioners about the different biomechanical triggers that cause ulcer formation.

The simulator also teaches users to distinguish surface pressure from localized deep tissue stress.

The working prototype is supplemented by a computer interface and training manual, which makes it easily adaptable to a variety of situations. In addition to its educational features, the pressure ulcer simulator is capable of assessing the efficacy of preventative and therapeutic devices.


  • Simulator reflects biomechanical stress and strain conditions within soft tissue for a variety of body positions
  • Provides real-time feedback on tissue pressure conditions in multiple tissue layers at high-risk anatomical sites
  • Educates practitioners to distinguish surface pressure from localized deep tissue stress
  • Simulation-based training promotes clinical skills and communication between health care staff and patients

Application Fields

  • Capable of assessing the efficacy of multiple preventative and therapeutic devices: hospital beds, wheel chairs and lumbar and ergonomic devices


  • Early stage. Working prototype completed and ready for demonstrations.
  • Biomechanical validation of simulated soft tissues
  • Instrumented mannequin prototype
  • Training scenario and training educational manuals


  • Jessica Sparks, PhD
  • Phil Sanger, PhD (Western Carolina University)
  • Dr. Teresa Conner-Kerr, PT, PhD (Winston-Salem State University)

Licensing Contact

Charlie Shaw, PhD

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