Swansea University Scientists are Developing Smart Bandages

It is evident technology will bring quite a few advances and improvements to the medical sector over the coming decades. Swansea University has created a new project that allows them to experiment with bandages equipped with sensors. The purpose of these seniors is to monitor the patient’s wound and recovery process. Transmitting said information would occur over the 5G mobile data network. An interesting idea, but can it even work?

5G-capable Bandages May Come To a Hospital Near You

To most people, it sounds absolutely crazy to have a bandage equipped with sensors around any part of their body. Then again, such sensors can be used to monitor patient health and determine if additional procedures are needed. Additionally, it would also reduce the number of unnecessary bandage swaps, which can have an adverse effect on recovery. From a convenience and medical point of view, the concept holds some merit.

Monitoring data from underneath the bandage through sensors is one thing, but broadcasting that information to the patient or medical practitioner is something else entirely. This is why Swansea University wants to equip their new bandages with 5G connectivity, allowing it to transmit data over a mobile data connection at all times. An interesting idea, that much is evident.

Once the bandage collects all of the necessary information, it will broadcast the information to the patient’s mobile phone. All of the information will be collected in a proprietary app, although it is unclear if said information will be shared with the doctor as well. This new method of collecting data patients is doing physically while dealing with such a minor injury. All things considered, it is hard to find any flaws with this concept so far.

Unfortunately, it will take some time until these “smart bandages” will come to fruition. For now, the concept is still an idea, rather than a prototype. Integrating tiny sensors into a bandage will prove to be a major hurdle. Additionally, the scientists are still developing the sensors themselves, as they hope to reduce the production costs. Right now, 3D printing certain parts is one of the top priorities, albeit its feasibility remains to be determined.

Moreover, there is the question of communication said patient information over a mobile internet connection. Mobile phones are often targeted by criminals looking to steal personal information. Medical records could prove to be quite the lucrative target for criminals, depending on how much patient information will be stored within the app. One benefit of using 5G connectivity is how it has lower latency compared to 4G, although it should really matter for these smart bandages.

For the time being, the concept remains nothing more than an intriguing idea scientists and technology enthusiasts can debate about. A lot of work has to be done before such a smart bandage will be available for testing, let alone become accessible for mainstream consumers. It goes to show technology will play a big part in the medical sector moving forward, though, which can be both a blessing and a curse.

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