Secondo a new study, a new type of wearable sensor can operate constant wound monitoring wirelessly through an app.
The sensor, placed on an intelligent bandage, allows for quick and accurate evaluation. It detects the temperature, pH, type of bacteria and inflammatory factors specific to chronic wounds.
Wounds under control with a smart bandage
People get older, and as they get older they can have wounds that don't heal - that's what they call chronic wounds. Estimates say that 2% of the world population suffers from it. Repeated infections and trauma often disrupt the healing processes of these wounds causing severe stress, pain and discomfort to affected patients.
An example? Patients with diabetic foot ulcers may end up with an amputated foot due to the aggravation of the wound. Prompt care and adequate treatment are needed to accelerate (and control) the recovery of these wounds. Today all this is achieved at the cost of many visits and high costs.
The new smart bandage featured in the magazine Science Advances it can help mitigate these consequences, and relieve chronic wound patients from unnecessary discomfort.
Wound Assessment: The Current Situation
Current ways of assessing wounds are not good. Visual observation is often not enough, and samples of the wound must be sent to the laboratory: the analysis can take from one to two days. This means that people may not be getting the right treatment. Even the recent ones sensors flexible can probe only a limited number of markers (acidity, temperature, oxygen, uric acid, and impedance) to diagnose wound inflammation.
In response to these current limitations, the researchers developed VeCare, a wound assessment platform consisting of an innovative wound detection bandage, an electronic chip and a mobile app.
The bandage has a wound contact layer, an external breathable barrier, a collector of microfluidic fluids for the wound and a flexible immunosensor. VeCare is the first wound assessment system that can analyze the type of bacteria and inflammatory chemicals, measure acidity and temperature, and check for infections in just 15 minutes.
VeCare Intelligent Bandage allows clinicians to track patients' chronic wounds from the comfort of their homes. The bandage complements a patient's existing medical treatment by monitoring the progress of a wound and helping to heal it at the same time.
“Point-of-care devices can play a big role in healthcare,” says Lim Chwee Teck of the National University of Singapore (NUS) where the study was conducted.
"Our intelligent bandaging technology is the first of its kind designed for chronic wound management and gives patients the freedom to test and monitor wound condition at home."
Intelligent bandage, the results of the tests carried out
The Singapore team conducted a first test on VeCare. Researchers have shown that smart bandaging could be used to assess chronic wounds and help monitor healing progress by enabling timely medical interventions.
The next step for the research team is to further develop VeCare for mass production. The team will explore other markers for different types of wounds. They want to do this with data from several clinical trials - they will soon launch clinical trials on people with foot ulcers and pressure ulcers as well.