A team of researchers have developed a smart to-be-worn sensor that can carry out point-of-care, real-time assessment of chronic wounds wirelessly using an app. The world’s first, the new sensor technology can gauge pH, temperature, bacteria type and inflammatory factors that are specific to wounds within 15 minutes thus enabling fast and precise wound assessment.
With an ageing population growing at a rapid pace, healthcare providers can perceive more patients that would suffer from non-healing wounds such as chronic venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers.
The healing process of chronic wounds are interrupted due to reasons such as repeated trauma and infection leading to severe pain, stress and discomfort to affected patients. Meanwhile, for patients of diabetic foot ulcers this can lead to more serious outcomes such as amputation of the foot.
In fact, timely care and proper therapeutic of chronic wounds are needed for wound recovery to speed up. However, this requires several clinical visits for detailed evaluation and treatment which adds to healthcare costs.
The innovation of the team can help alleviate the consequences and not cause unnecessary distress for patients of chronic wounds.
The findings of the study is published in Science Advances.
Currently, the clinical assessments of wound depend on visual examination or collecting and transmitting wound fluid to a centralized lab to identify and analyze specific biomarkers. It takes about one or two days for the whole process and may disrupt proper, accurate, and timely medical interventions.
Whilst there have been recent developments in flexible sensors for wound care they only indicate only a limited set of markers such as temperature, acidity, uric acid, oxygen, and blocks to diagnose wound inflammation.