Smart Bandage for Chronic Wound Monitoring Could Significantly Reduce Health Care Costs

Chronic wounds are wounds that do not heal quickly. They bleed frequently, often develop into infections and can turn into ulcers if they are not treated properly.

Treating chronic wounds is a tremendous burden for health care providers and systems. Patients with these wounds often have to be admitted to hospitals. Once admitted, nurses and doctors need to conduct a number of tests, dress the wounds, and monitor the wounds throughout the day. In addition, patients often have to wear a number of medical devices that are bulky and uncomfortable.

In the United States and Europe, over nine million people are affected each year by chronic wounds and this costs over US$ 39 billion.

Cheap, Comfortable and Ideal for Remote Health Monitoring

Dr. Atif Shamim, assistant professor and principal investigator of KAUST’s IMPACT Lab, has developed an easy-to-wear smart bandage for chronic wounds that consists of two parts. The first part is a reusable component containing sensors that monitor bleeding patterns, detect early signs of infection and track pressure. Attached to this reusable component is a traditional disposable bandage with printed electronics. The invention also contains wireless technology that sends the medicals readings to your health providers.

This smart bandage is cheap to produce, is bio-compatible and comfortable to wear, and provides patients and medical practitioners with a remote health monitoring option.
It could significantly reduce health care spending by allowing patients to monitor their chronic wounds as outpatients while having the bandage send multi-day medical readings to doctors and nurses for tracking purposes and to determine if further action is needed.

Prototypes of this bandage have been developed in conjunction with KAUST Innovation’s Technology Transfer Office and clinical trials will soon be conducted. The bandage can be developed in multiple sizes.

For more information on this technology, click here.