Kate Hancock

Kate Hancock, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing, Bruin Biometrics LLC

Kate is Executive Vice President, Global Marketing at Bruin Biometrics LLC, manufacturers of the Provizio® SEM Scanner.

Kate is a former Registered General Nurse, having qualified in 1984 at Nottingham School of Nursing eventually specialising in Intensive Care Nursing and has spent the past 20 years within the Medical Device Industry.

Passionate about Wound Care, much of Kates time in the Medical Device Industry has been focussed on the treatment and prevention of pressure ulcers through her roles in Marketing and Product Management at a number of multi-national medical device manufactuers.

Outside of her work life, Kate lives in the UK and enjoys walking with her Boxer dog Alfie and motor biking with her husband.

Poster Presentation (Research category) at The Society of Tissue Viability 2022 Conference

Increased detection of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers(HAPU)


Background: Pressure ulcers (PUs) are complex persistent wounds that cost the NHS upwards of £1. 4 billion annually.1 Clinical judgement, the current gold standard of care (SoC), includes a combination of risk assessment scales, visual and tactile skin tissue assessments, and healthcare practitioner experience. The result is an outdated SoC pathway with general body assessments that are subjective, inconsistent, and inadequate in the timely detection and prevention of PUs. Sub-Epidermal Moisture (SEM) also known as localized oedema or persistent focal oedema is an early biomarker of developing PUs. This analysis demonstrates the diagnostic capability of SEM assessment technology for anatomy specific increased detection of developing PUs.

Methods: A detection model based on a 450 bed NHS acute facility was developed to assess the diagnostic accuracy of the current SoC and SEM assessment technology. All model parameters were input from peer-reviewed publications. The base model parameters were as follows:
a. 83% average annual occupancy,
b. 4.5 days mean length of stay,
c. 41% at-risk population,
d. 3.58% PU incidence.

Results: The probabilistic analysis, indicating 12,421 patients at risk of developing PUs, resulted in developing clinical decision pathways using SoC and SEM assessment as independent diagnostic tests. A positive SoC or SEM test triggered enhanced prevention strategies. Accounting for enhanced prevention strategies in both pathways for high-risk patients (Positive test result), the model indicated 879 patients eventually developing a PU (True positive). The SoC test was positive in 5,050/12,421 patients with the SoC pathway identifying 445/879 of the true PU patients. The SEM test was positive in a smaller number of patients, 2145/12,421 patients. The SEM pathway, however, identified a larger proportion of the true PU positive patients (760/879). Outcome analysis, adjusted for early detection and healing PUs, showed that the SEM assessment pathway resulted in a 13.5% reduction in PU incidence, preventing 68 PUs more than the SoC pathway.

Conclusion: Results indicate that the SEM test pathway detected more of the right patients developing PUs. This evidence-based clinical decision system modelling analysis demonstrates that SEM assessment technology is a clinically dominant pathway for anatomy specific and objective increased detection of developing PUs.

1. Bennett, Gerry et al. “The cost of pressure ulcers in the UK.” Age and ageing vol. 33,3 (2004): 230-5. doi:10.1093/ageing/afh086