After a doctor bandages the wound of a patient, the only way they can monitor the health of the wound is when time comes to replace the bandage. In this time of wearable technology when so many things are constantly monitored, you may wonder why is it so hard to monitor a wound? Well, it seems your bandage could soon be powered by technology. A team of researchers from Tufts University, Harvard Medical School, and Purdue University have shared a prototype of a smart bandage that can monitor chronic wounds and deliver drugs to improve healing. This technology would efficiently transform bandages from a passive form of treatment into an active part of the healing process.
“We’ve been able to take a new approach to bandages because of the emergence of flexible electronics,” Sameer Sonkusale, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Tufts University’s School of Engineering and corresponding co-author for the study, said in a statement. “In fact, flexible electronics have made many wearable medical devices possible, but bandages have changed little since the beginnings of medicine. We are simply applying modern technology to an ancient art in the hopes of improving outcomes for an intractable problem.”
The bandage has been built for chronic skin wounds resulting from burns, diabetes, or other non-traumatic conditions. Diabetes and burns can cause chronic skin wounds, which often results in infections that lead to amputations. A recent study has shown that almost 15% of Medicare beneficiaries had at least one kind of chronic wound or infection. These types of patients tend to be older and aren’t capable of taking care of themselves fully.
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