Bandages which can detect how a wound is healing and send messages back to doctors could be trialed within the next 12 months, scientists have said.
The bandages are fitted with tiny sensors which can pick up blood clotting or spot infections, and wirelessly send data back to a clinician. The bandages would use real-time 5G technology to monitor what treatment is needed and also keep track of a patient’s activity levels.
Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science, which is hoping to trial the bandages within 12 months, said the new technology could offer a personalized approach to medicine.
The smart bandage would also connect to the patient’s smartphone, which can also keep track of other health concerns, such as inactivity or diet, that could be preventing healing.
In an interview to BBC Prof Marc Clement, chairman of the Institute of Life Science (ILS), said: “5G is an opportunity to produce resilient, robust bandwidth that is always there for the purpose of healthcare.
“That intelligent dressing uses nano-technology to sense the state of that wound at any one specific time.
“It would connect that wound to a 5G infrastructure and that infrastructure through your telephone will also know things about you – where you are, how active you are at any one time.
“You combine all of that intelligence so the clinician knows the performance of the specific wound at any specific time and can then tailor the treatment protocol to the individual and wound in question.”