Welsh researchers want to design connected bandages (or dressings) whose main characteristic is to protect a wound while allowing doctors to monitor the progress of healing.
Conventional dressings are quite effective, but leave no possibility of seeing if the wound is progressing for good or bad without having to remove them. Prof. Marc Clement from the Institute of Life Sciences at Swansea University (Wales) and his team are trying to develop a completely new type of bandage.
This sensor-equipped dressing will use 5G wireless connectivity to relay real-time wound data to the doctor treating the patient.
“5G will ensure a robust and reliable connection with good bandwidth”says Marc Clement, interviewed by the BBC, who adds that doctors will be able to take « knowledge of the progress of the injury at a specific time » and “decide on the treatment protocol in the best way to heal precisely this wound on this patient. »
Currently, researchers are working on the method that will best integrate the sensors into the dressing and are thinking strongly about 3D printing. This type of smart bandage could see the light of day within a year while the Welsh Wound Innovation Center at Cardiff University is backing the project having said it wants to develop a 5G test hub in the city of Swansea to coordinate everything .
This invention follows other attempts to create smart dressings. In 2015, the University of Bath (UK) tested a color-changing bandage to detect wound infection and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) developed a kind of bandage capable of delivering medicine on the wound to facilitate healing.
Sources: BBC – UberGizmo – The Home Automation Blog