The Best Inventions of 2020
Courtesy
November 19, 2020 8:56 AM EST

Lying in bed for days or weeks is deceptively hard on the body. It places pressure on the skin and underlying tissues, and can result in injuries known as bedsores. Every year, these pressure wounds cost the U.S. medical system roughly $10 billion and contribute to complications like infections that kill about 60,000 Americans. The sores are also preventable—and the Provizio SEM Scanner is all about stopping them before they start. Nurses hold the scanner to a patient’s skin and wait for feedback about moisture levels below the skin’s surface. The data allows nurses to detect a sore up to five days earlier than they could with visual detection, when there’s still time to stop it. The roughly 30 U.S. hospitals already using the device report treating up to 90% fewer bedsores than before. —Jamie Ducharme

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