With an increasing prevalence of diabetes and a rapidly aging population, we have more people suffering from chronic wounds than ever before. The major goal with the management of these wounds is to avoid amputation or other complications. But this is only possible through timely management.
The traditional method for chronic wound assessment includes two steps:
- Visual inspection of the wound
- Collection of wound fluid sample and sending it for lab analysis
This process could take 1 or 2 days and may impede timely medical intervention. But there may be a better way.
Researchers from National University of Singapore’s (NUS) and Institute for Health Innovation & Technology (iHealthtech), have developed VeCare, a wearable sensor for timely assessment of chronic wounds such as venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers.
The wearable sensor can detect four pathological features related to wounds: temperature, pH, type of bacteria infecting the wound, and inflammatory factors specific to chronic wounds. VeCare detects these changes within 15 minutes and enables timely action on behalf of the healthcare team.
The smart bandage contains a microfluidic wound fluid collector and an immunosensor between two breathable barriers. The bandage is applied onto the wound. Data collected through VeCare bandage is accessible through a mobile app that is wirelessly connected to VeCare. The VeCare battery is chargeable making it an excellent product for reuse.
VeCare enables doctors to monitor chronic wounds remotely without removing the wound dressing. It also enables timely medical management of the wound and efficient recovery. The innovation could save many wound-related amputations and prevent disability in a large population.