Is the Tech-Powered Bandage on the Way?
Traditionally, wound management has required regular monitoring, cleaning and dressing changes along with the topical application of any relevant medications. This system can be lengthy, time-consuming, and uncomfortable for the patient, but things could be about to change. Tufts University researchers have harnessed technology to medicine to create an amazing prototype which promises to switch bandages from a passive to a starring role in the healing process.
What Can This Wonder-Bandage Do?
Essentially, this 3mm thick miracle device monitors serious wounds by tracking temperature changes and pH levels using special sensors and then administers drugs as required. As its sensors monitor pH levels, the bandage is able to understand if the wound underneath it is healing as it should. So a pH in the 5.5 – 6.5 range indicates all is well, but any higher, or a rise in temperature, alerts the built-in microprocessor to infection being present and triggers the relevant drug dose.
Who Will Benefit from This Tech-Powered Bandage?
Diabetics and burns survivors are two prominent groups who tend to have a lot of serious skin wounds and consequently are vulnerable to infections, which can lead to sepsis or amputation. Patients with these issues who are also vulnerable through disability, poor mobility or old age may find it difficult to manage their own long-term dressing care, making them ideal candidates to benefit from this kind of breakthrough. Ultimately, this should also reduce the cost of delivering long-term wound care in terms of labour costs and materials.
What the Future Holds
Having successfully developed and tested this new style of bandage in laboratory conditions, pre-clinical studies are now under way to explore the viability of further research into this prototype. Success at that stage will give the green light to paid medical trials, organized with genuine patients by specialist companies like http://www.trials4us.co.uk/. These trials compare the use of both the new and the traditional treatments of similar wounds to find evidence of advantages the new option could have as a mainstream treatment option.
Marrying technology and healing treatments has been tried before, but only to the level of being able to detect potential problems in a wound. This is breakthrough research, as it combines both detection and immediate response – something which could be further developed to treat more than just wounds in the future.