Medical Device



DermaShift is a diagnostic device that detects pressure ulcers before they're formed.


Arduino, PCB, BreadBoard, Pulse-Oximeter, AutoCad, IronCad, 3D Printing


PUs are caused by the application of prolonged pressure, resulting in ischemia and subsequent tissue necrosis. Since pressure-induced ischemia alters blood reperfusion and oxygen concentration levels, measuring O2 changes prior to and after reperfusion is a promising indicator for PU formation. Our device thus uses a transient loading method to measure the changes in oxygen concentration during blood reperfusion within the areas of skin with potential PUs. A reflectance pulse oximetry sensor is used to measure the oxygen saturation of the tissue before, during, and after pressure loading, while a linear actuator applies a controlled amount of pressure to allow for accurate sensor readings and slight blood occlusion. The loading is controlled via feedback between the actuator and an embedded load cell, preventing excessive forces from being applied to the patient.

Our device was shown to be low-cost, easy-to-use, portable, and adaptable on a variety of patients and body locations, making it an attractive and feasible option for many hospitals and nursing homes, areas with high rates of PU development. Our method of quantitatively detecting ulcer formation was validated by the statistically significant difference in O2 change between the healthy patient and patient with a simulated PU, and by monitoring blood reperfusion, our device will be a lower cost alternative to many products currently in development, such as the SEM scanner or portable ultrasound technologies. Thus, our device can act as a low cost, quantitative method for detecting PUs, a necessity that currently doesn't exist for healthcare settings.


Dermashift CAD Model
Final Poster. You can check out a larger view HERE.

Lessons Learned

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