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SMART

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Abstract

Pressure ulcers are localized wounds characterized by the breakdown of skin and underlying tissue. On average, annual treatments cost upwards of $55 billion1. In particular, there is an increased susceptibility to pressure ulcer development among individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI) due to muscle atrophy and loss of sensation in their lower body2. Current pressure mapping devices lack portability, typically cost $5000-$6000, and are generally only utilized within clinics, making pressure mapping usage limited and very expensive3. Our project’s objective was to address these needs by developing an affordable, portable take-home device that can provide a continuous pressure map of the individual’s seat-buttocks interface and also aid in developing healthy pressure relieving habits. Our solution to this objective was designing a device made of inexpensive smart materials that can provide real-time pressure feedback via a smartphone app. This invention would help prevent the risk of pressure ulcer development by providing an easy way for the user to interpret simple data and make the proper modifications.

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