Researchers have announced that Smart Bandages that tell doctors how a wound is healing could begin full testing within this year or early next year. The bandages or dressing would bring a personalized and intelligent approach to treatment of all kinds of wounds because it would allow medical staff to keep up-to-date about a patients’ wound progress remotely. Researchers and developers are using a “multi-technology” approach such as nanotechnology, 5G infrastructure, and 3D printing to create an effective bandage product while attempting to keep manufacturing costs down.
The bandage will be infused and will use very small sensors to detect issues such as infection and alerting the doctor using 5G technology if any problem should arise with the wound. Created by researchers from Swansea University, the invention is designed to detect any issues in between patient appointments where wound healing would traditionally be checked. According to Professor Marc Clement, chairman of the university’s Institute of Life Science (ILS) in an interview with the BBC, “5G is an opportunity to produce resilient, robust bandwidth that is always there for the purpose of healthcare. That intelligent dressing uses nanotechnology to sense the state of that wound at any one specific time.
You combine all of that intelligence so the clinician knows the performance of the specific wound at any specific time and can then tailor the treatment protocol to the individual and wound in question.” The dressing is connected to both the patients’ and doctors’ smartphones to monitor physical activity levels, which can impact recovery speed. Traditional medicine today is measured by the fact that a clinician might see a patient and then prescribe the treatment approach for a month or three months. What the future holds from this smart bandage is a world where there’s the ability to vary the treatment to the individual, the lifestyle, and the pattern of life.
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It’s also good technology so patients avoid telling their doctor that all is well when in fact all the evidence is there before them and the doctor in this 5G world, so the clinician and patient can work together to address any challenges that crop up. The smart bandage is a multi-technology approach, with nanotechnology, nano-electronics, printing, and coating biochemistry all interconnecting through 5G infrastructure to allow doctors or medical facilities in the future to deliver health care for a wound patient that delivers better patient outcomes and better quality of life. This isn’t actually the first smart bandage to help prevent infection. Last year, British scientists developed a bandage that could turn yellow when the wound became infected. Trials for this are also underway.