DermaTrax smart dressing makes wound care less intrusive and more efficient
Researchers have developed a new "smartdressing" that's able to monitor patient wounds while in place,lowering the need for regular visual inspections. According to thedevice's creators, it's not only more convenient than standarddressings, but could also reduce costs associated with wound healing.
Technology has a huge impact on healthcare, facilitating countless improvement to our understanding ofailments, while giving us new way to treat them. Recently, we've seensome impressive developments, such as the Fraunhofer Institute'sefforts to create a device that can act as a doctor's third arm, andeven a robot that can cut around corners in patients' heads.
The trusty wound dressing might beevolving at a slightly slower rate, but we've seen some impressiveideas over the years, including a dressing designed to change color when an infection is present, and even a glowing, paint-on bandage that gives doctors an idea of how well skin is healing.
Now a collaborative team of researchersfrom three different institutions – Ireland's Tyndall Nationalinstitute, Fleming Medical and the Holst Center in the Netherlands –have developed a smart dressing that could provide a big stepforward in the treatment of wounds.
The idea behind the new tech, known asDermaTrax, is to make wound care more comfortable for the patient andeasier for doctors. It achieves both of these goals by eliminating theneed to repeatedly remove the dressing in order to conduct visualinspections.
The product contains temperature,moisture and pH sensors, working to automatically monitor thecondition of the wound, as well as the state of the dressing itself.Information is relayed wirelessly back to the nurses' station,allowing for remote monitoring and immediate alerting and response ifanything goes wrong, such as an infection being detected. The sensormodule itself is flexible and thin, adding no more bulk than atypical dressing.
According to the research team, some200,000 patients are treated for chronic wounds every year in the UKalone, costing an estimated £4 billion (US$6 billion) annually. Notonly could DermaTrax make wound care less intrusive, but it should alsosignificantly reduce the amount of time that doctors have to dedicateto clinical inspections.
"This hi-tech dressing will generate significant savings in healthcare costs, due to reduced clinical inspection time and shorter hospital stays as a result of faster wound healing," said Fleming Medical CEO, Mark Fleming.
Source: Tyndall National Institute