The objective of the project is to build a system to inform nurses and caregivers where to provide care to prevent pressure ulcers. 


Pressure ulcers, also known as pressure sores or bed sores, are skin and tissue injuries resulting from prolonged pressure, shear, or friction. These ulcers typically develop over bony prominences like the sacrum, coccyx, heels, and hips, but they can also occur in other areas. The severity of the injury is categorized into four stages, with stage four indicating a complete loss of tissue thickness. Pressure ulcers can cause significant pain and discomfort, as well as lead to complications such as bone infections. Additionally, the cost of treating these ulcers can be substantial. This condition predominantly affects individuals with limited mobility, such as those who are on long-term bed rest or rely on wheelchairs. The financial burden associated with pressure ulcers is staggering, with U.S. hospitals spending up to $30 billion annually on their treatment. Consequently, it is crucial to prioritize the prevention of pressure ulcers.

Figure 1: Pressure Ulcer animated

According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP), repositioning individuals at regular intervals to relieve pressure on vulnerable areas of the body has been identified as the most effective strategy for preventing pressure ulcers [2]. By minimizing the duration and intensity of pressure experienced by patients, the likelihood of developing pressure ulcers is reduced. [3] 

Despite the ‘easily preventable’ method of repositioning, the healthcare system still faces an increase in pressure ulcer injuries each year. This raises the question,  “How do caregivers know that patients are repositioned in such a way that pressure has been relieved or redistributed?” 

As shown in Fig 2, the pressure redistribution is not guaranteed after the pose of the person is changed. 

Figure 2: Pressure Not being distributed after pose change

These pressure visualizations show how pressure is distributed over the human body i.e. what are the areas where higher pressure is being applied. Such a pressure mapping system can then be used by caregivers to perform informed repositioning and prevent pressure ulcers. 

Figure 3: Informed Repositioning 


Our approach is to use multiple visual modalities to estimate the pressure being applied on the human body.