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β›‘ Smart bandages can detect covid

β›‘ Smart bandages can detect covid

Bandages with sensors for temperature and tension in the skin can self-monitor so that the wound heals better. The same bandage could also potentially be used to alert for Covid-symptoms.

Kent Olofsson
Kent Olofsson

Patients with difficult-to-heal wounds often have to go to hospitals or health centers to have their bandages checked to make sure that the wounds are healing properly.

But that may be about to change. Researchers from the University of Glasgow in Scotland have constructed a "smart bandage" that reduces that need. The bandage contains sensors that continuously monitor the tension and temperature of the skin on the wound. The sensors ensure that the tension is optimal and that the pressure the bandage put on the wound is enough. It can also tell if the skin maintains the right temperature and check whether there is an infection.

The bandage also contains a radio transmitter. If the bandage carrier ought to make an action, like loosening it, it can send an alarm via the patient's mobile telephone.

But the bandage may also have other uses. Namely, it can register the patient's breathing if it is placed on the patient's chest. As fever and difficulty breathing are signs of a Covid, for example, healthcare professionals could use a small bandage to get early warnings of signs of infection.

Another potential use would be to use the bandage to monitor patients with severe asthma. The bandage could then register if the breathing changes and alert via a mobile app. So far, the bandage is just a prototype, but the researchers will now start testing it outside the lab.

Read the full study here. Image: BEST group / University of Glasgow