A smart bandage is a new form of biomedical device, which can detect how well a wound is healing without unraveling the bandages, will enter into clinical trials next year.
Scientists from the Institute of Life Science (ILS) at Swansea University in Wales, is hoping that the trials will commence within the next 12 months, its technology is advanced enough that it can be configured to offer a personalized approach.
Patients patched up with traditional bandages are advised to see a doctor after a certain amount of time. Each case has a varied time for healing, and some may even be infected before the scheduled visit.
The smart bandage employs nanotechnology in the form of nano-sized sensors capable of assessing the state of a wound without the need of unraveling them. It sends out reports through 5G mobile internet networks, allowing health professionals to make informed, remote and updated treatment of the patient in real-time.
Nanotechnology has made it possible to produce sensors so minuscule they could be on an intelligent dressing. The next step should be to produce them at an affordable cost.
How are sensors in smart bandages produced? According to The Telegraph, the best way to produce the smart device is through a printing technique. It employs a multi-technology approach, combining nanotechnology, nanoelectronics, printing and biochemistry all interconnected through a 5G infrastructure.
The smart bandage keeps track of other health concerns by connecting with the patient's smartphone. It reports health concerns such as, diet or inactivity, which could hamper healing.
Meanwhile, another type of bandage, which change color when a wound becomes infected is also undergoing clinical trials University of California Berkeley scientist have been testing dressings that use sensors that identify tissue damage, thus preventing patients from suffering bedsores. Other researchers have created hydrogel films embedded with sensors that could potentially send drugs to a wound.
Do not be surprised if these smart medical devices are not in the market as of right now. Medicinal and medical products goes through stringent, and scientifically controlled trials before they make it to market. This ensures that they are relatively safe and effective.