Smart Bandage with reusable electronics assist in remote monitoring of wound pH, pressure, and bleeding in real-time.
FREMONT, CA: Chronic wounds pose a significant challenge to modern health care providers. Chronic wounds are wounds that do not usually heal. The infection causes spontaneous bleeds and changes in pH levels. Pressure can cause these wounds to become established.
Wound diagnosis and treatment are complex, and medical staff commonly use visual inspections to provide treatment. This method requires frequent hospital visits, which are time-consuming and expensive. The technology offers a low-cost wearable smart bandage that monitors early signs of wound infection such as bleeding and pH variations and measures external pressure on the wound. Remotely, this bandage strip notifies the patient and healthcare providers when it is time to change dressings.
The smart bandage is a hybrid product that is both disposable and reusable. The sensors that detect bleeding, pH levels, and external pressure on the wound are attached to a disposable bandage. In contrast, the electronics connected to the flexible Kapton tape can be detached and reused multiple times.
The capacitive sensor detects bleeding and changes in wound pressure. A resistive sensor is used to determine the pH level of the wound. The electronics process the changes in capacitance and resistance and transmit the data wirelessly using the IEEE 802.15.4 standard.
The detachable electronics include a transmitter with an embedded microcontroller, a capacitance-to-digital converter (CDC), an LED that indicates the bandage's status to the patient, and a battery to power the system. Wireless communication is accomplished via an integrated loop antenna printed using an inkjet printer. This data can then be transmitted via the mobile network or the internet to remote health care providers.
Why is a smart bandage essential?
Currently, there are no commercially available wireless devices that can monitor the wound-healing process in real-time. The proposed smart bandage provides a complete wearable system capable of monitoring chronic wounds in real-time for the first time. The system utilizes inkjet-printed sensors to continuously monitor multiple wound healing parameters to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment. Because the sensor dimensions are scalable, the smart bandage system can monitor any chronic wound regardless of its size.
Reduces the cost of healthcare for patients, hospitals, and insurers
Detects infections promptly
Improved wound care
Multiple disposable bandages can be used with reusable electronics
Pressure sensors can alert patients to pressure ulcers and assist them in avoiding them
Provides patients with dressing reminders
Wireless connectivity with no hassles and real-time monitoring