Funding from the Medical Research council has allowed researchers at Nottingham University to develop a smart wound dressing that could have significant impact on patient care and healthcare costs for wound management.
Low cost, optical fibre sensors in the dressing will be able to monitor biomarkers associated with the wound, and give a clearer picture of the healing process. The dressing will be connected to a reusable opto- electronic unit that will constantly evaluate the wounds status. Information will be relayed to patients and clinicians wirelessly via a mobile phone.
“Smart Bandage to Improve Wound Care“
“The only way to currently assess how well a wound is healing rate is by undressing and redressing it. This could disrupt the healing process and creates a huge burden on NHS resources.” comments Professor Steve Morgan, director of the Centre for Healthcare Technologies, “Our new technology could cut the number of healthcare appointments needed by sending out an alert if intervention is required with infected or slow healing wounds, and improve patient care.”
Although the cost will be higher than an average dressing, the reduction in required clinical visits and dressing changes could provide £300m annual savings to the NHS.