Smart Bandage

Context: A study was published in “Science Advances” that offered to help accelerate healing of chronic wounds– using a wearable, wireless, mechanically flexible smart bandage as big as a finger. About Smart Bandage: 
  • A Smart Bandage is an advanced medical dressing that incorporates various technologies to enhance the healing process of a wound.
  • It consists of integrated biosensors, soft drug loaded hydrogels and signal processing and wireless communication to provide real-time feedback and facilitate better wound management.
  • The device is assembled on a soft, stretchable polymer that helps the bandage maintain contact with and stick to the skin.
How does the Smart Bandage work? 
  • Smart bandages have built-in sensors to continuously monitor various parameters of the wound, such as temperature, pH level, moisture, and oxygenation.
  • Data collected by the bandage is passed to a flexible printed circuit board, which relays it wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet for review by a physician.
Benefits:
  • Enhanced Patient Comfort: Smart Bandage doesn’t have to be removed frequently to monitor the status and apply antibiotics.
  • Remote Monitoring: Smart bandages can connect to mobile applications or remote monitoring systems, allowing patients to monitor their wounds from home.
  • Lesser Hospital Visits: Cleaning and dressing the wound increases chances of bacterial contamination every time, the wound is opened. So, the bandage could also reduce the number of hospital visits.
Limitations:
  • Need of Biosensors: The researchers noted that the mixing of newly secreted chemicals with the old ones delayed the biosensors’ response. The biosensors might require more protection.
  • Lack of Affordability: There are doubts over its affording and accessibility to people of lower socio-­economic strata.
  • Reliability and Accuracy: The accuracy and reliability of the sensors and monitoring systems within smart bandages can vary.                       
News Source: The Hindu

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