Researchers from the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Institute for Health Innovation and Technology at the National University of Singapore (NUS) announced today that they had developed a wearable sensor that can detect temperature, bacteria type, and other medical factors specific to chronic wounds, called VeCare.
According to the research teams, the newly developed VeCare can detect and wirelessly transmit medical data about chronic wounds, such as temperature and bacteria wounds, within 15 minutes, allowing for faster wound assessment and treatment.
The bandage has a wound contact layer, a breathable outer barrier, a microfluidic fluid collector, and a flexible immunosensor. The new invention equally detects several indicators related to chronic wounds using an electrochemical mechanism, making monitoring the wound’s microenvironment, inflammation, and infection status easier.
In a statement released by NUS today, the microfluidic wound fluid collector coupled to the sensor directs and increases fluid supply to the sensor by up to 180 percent, ensuring the sensor can work reliably regardless of the ulcer shape or size.
The microchip also has flexible electronics connected to the sensor, allowing data to be wirelessly relayed to the app for real-time assessment and analysis. Data is transferred to the linked mobile device of the patient, where it is kept and analyzed. A rechargeable battery also powers this processor.
While stating the need for the development of the VeCare, the National University of Singapore noted that the healing process of chronic wounds can be disturbed for a variety of reasons, including infections and recurrent trauma, and can result in more serious outcomes such as amputation for diabetic foot ulcer patients. While immediate medical attention and treatment are critical, it necessitates multiple and prolonged visits to clinics, rising healthcare expenses.
According to Lim Chwee Teck, the NUS’ iHealthtech director and team lead of the research, the aim is to have an effective and easy-to-use diagnostic and prognostic tool for precise and data-driven clinical management of patients.
“The COVID-19 pandemic criteria for safe distancing have catalyzed the use of point-of-care devices in combination with telehealth or digital health capabilities, which can play an important role in altering the healthcare business and our society. Our smart bandage technology is developed for chronic wound treatment, allowing patients to run tests and monitor their wound status from the comfort of their own homes.” he maintained.