Johns Hopkins
Engineering Design Day

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Johns Hopkins Engineering community is creating a better future, translating theoretical knowledge into real-world solutions.


Join us on Tuesday, May 4 for a virtual celebration showcasing student innovation and creativity at Hopkins Engineering annual Design Day!

design projects

engineering students

project directors

Design Day Projects

Mobile App and Wearable Sensor System for Preventing Pressure Ulcer Formation

Team: Honors Instrumentation: Sway

Program: Biomedical Engineering

Pressure ulcers (PUs) are crater-like wounds which arise from reduced blood flow to a certain area due to prolonged pressure on the skin. Nursing home and home-bound patients are at risk for PU formation and require frequent turning. Despite protocols to prevent their formation, around 11% of nursing home residents develop PUs in a given year. Therefore, caretakers need a simple, efficient device to help reposition patients and prevent pressure ulcers. Sway is a mobile app and wearable device which work in conjunction to prevent pressure ulcer formation. Our wearable has a ring of LEDs that help guide inexperienced caregivers in turning the patient to the optimal angle to reduce pressure. Our two-node design ensures uniform turning and tracks the time between turns to ensure regular repositioning. In addition to sending alerts to remind caregivers to reposition patients after a period of two hours, our companion app provides additional guidance through visual turning graphics and will turn green once the ideal turning angle is reached on both nodes. Finally, a reminder is given to ensure the knees and heels do not touch.


  • Dr. Nitish Thakor

Team Members

  • Jerry Zhang
  • Yoseph Kim
  • Reena Elizebath
  • Nicolle Jaurre

Project Links

Sway is a mobile app and wearable device that work in conjunction to prevent pressure ulcer formation

Short video providing project background, clinical need, solution, and future steps.

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