Smart bandages are the latest devices to monitor your health


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A team of Swiss medical researchers has developed a bandage that tells you how well a wound is healing.

In the normal process of healing, a wound’s pH – the measure of its acidity or alkalinity – rises to about 8, then settles back to a more acidic 5 or 6. In wounds not healing, the pH level lingers between 7.5 and 8.

The Swiss group crafted a group of molecules that glow when they contact pH levels of 7.5 or higher. The team embedded the molecules in a special cloth. To see if the bandage has lit up, a clinician simply shines an infrared lamp on it.

A multinational European group has unveiled DermaTrax, another smart bandage, this one for use in hospitals. It holds temperature and moisture sensors as well as a pH monitor. Data are sent wirelessly to a nurse’s station where changes can be flagged for urgent attention.

TRENDPOST: The smart bandage is not yet fully developed. The problem with bandages is that you don’t always know if they need changing until you take them off. That can reopen the wound and boost the risk of infection. But smart bandages are part of a growing trend that places products and devices in the hands of consumers to assess and track their own health progress.

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