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Singapore tests out ‘smart bandage’ for remote recovery

The bandage is being tested on patients with chronic venous ulcers, or leg ulcers caused by circulation problems in veins.

By: Reuters |
December 1, 2021 1:20:42 pm
VeCare bandageA VeCare bandage with sensor and microchip components is pictured at the National University of Singapore November 26, 2021. (REUTERS)

Researchers in Singapore have developed a smart bandage to enable patients to have chronic wounds monitored remotely via an app on a mobile device, potentially saving them visits to the doctor.

A research team at the National University of Singapore has created a wearable sensor attached to a transparent bandage to track progress in healing, using information like temperature, bacteria type, and levels of pH and inflammation.

“Traditionally when someone has a wound or ulcer, if it’s infected, the only way to examine it is through looking at the wound itself, through visual inspection,” said Chwee Teck Lim, lead researcher at the university’s department of biomedical engineering.

National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of Biomedical Engineering’s Professor Chwee Teck Lim holds up a VeCare bandage at NUS in Singapore National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of Biomedical Engineering’s Professor Chwee Teck Lim holds up a VeCare bandage at NUS in Singapore November 26, 2021. (REUTERS)

“If the clinician wants to have further information then they will obtain the wound fluid and send to the lab for further testing,” he said. “So what we’re trying to do is use our smart bandage to cut the number of hours or days to just a few minutes.”

The “VeCare” technology will enable patients to convalesce more at home and visit a doctor only if necessary. The bandage is being tested on patients with chronic venous ulcers, or leg ulcers caused by circulation problems in veins.

Data collection by researchers on the wounds has so far been effective, according to Lim, who said the smart bandage could potentially be used for other wounds, like diabetic foot ulcers.

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