Smart Bandage for Real-Time Wireless Monitoring of Chronic Wounds
Smart Bandage with reusable electronics for real-time wireless monitoring of wound pH, pressure and bleeding
Data shows that chronic wounds present a significant challenge to modern health care providers.
Chronic wounds are wounds that do not follow normal healing processes and timelines. They bleed randomly and show variations in pH levels as a result of infection. External pressure can also cause these wounds to become chronic.
Diagnosis and treatment of chronic wounds is challenging, and medical staff often rely on physical inspections of the wound in order to provide treatment. This method requires frequent trips to the hospital that are time consuming and expensive.
This technology solves the problem of wound monitoring by offering a low-cost wearable smart bandage that detects early signs of wound infection such as bleeding and pH variations and can measure external pressure on the wound. This simple bandage strip can remotely send wound progression data and issue early warnings to patients, as well as remote medical staff, regarding the need to change the dressing.
How it works
The smart bandage is part disposable and part reusable. The sensors used to detect bleeding, pH levels and external pressure on the wound are located on a disposable bandage whereas the electronics on the flexible kapton tape can be detached and reused multiple times.
The capacitive sensor detects bleeding, as well as pressure levels on the wound. A resistive sensor detects pH levels on the wound. The changes in capacitance and resistance are processed by the electronics, and the information is sent in a wireless fashion using an IEEE 802.15.4 standard.
The detachable electronics comprise a transmitter with an embedded microcontroller, a capacitance-to-digital converter (CDC), an LED to inform the patient about the status of the bandage and a battery to power the system. The wireless communication is done through an inkjet-printed loop antenna that is integrated with the circuit. This data can then be sent to remote health care providers using either the mobile network or the internet.
Why it is better
There are currently no commercially available wireless devices to continuously monitor the wound-healing process.
The proposed smart bandage, for the first time, provides a complete wearable system to monitor chronic wounds in real-time.
The system comprises inkjet-printed sensors to monitor multiple parameters related to wound healing for accurate diagnosis and treatment. The smart bandage system can be used to monitor any type of chronic wound regardless of its size, as the sensor dimensions are scalable.
Invention track code
- Reduces healthcare costs for patients, hospitals and insurance providers
- Detects infections in a timely manner
- Better wound management
- Reusable electronics can be used on multiple disposable bandages
- Pressure sensors can alert patients and help them avoid pressure ulcers
- Provides dressing alerts for patients
- Hassle free wireless and real-time monitoring
- Consumer healthcare
- Hospitals and long term remote health care
- Bed sores management