Software apps and online services
Hand tools and fabrication machines
Most patients have families that are providing some level of care and support. In the case of older adults and people with chronic disabilities of all ages, this “informal care” can be substantial in scope, intensity, and duration. Family caregiving raises safety issues in two ways that should concern nurses in all settings. First, caregivers are sometimes referred to as “secondary patients, ” who need and deserve protection and guidance. Research supporting this caregiver-as-client perspective focuses on ways to protect family caregivers’ health and safety because their caregiving demands place them at high risk for injury and adverse events. Second, family caregivers are unpaid providers who often need help to learn how to become competent, safe volunteer workers who can better protect their family members (i.e., the care recipients) from harm.
The elderly constitute the age group most susceptible to wound healing disorders and chronic wounds, the most prevalent being venous leg ulcers, pressure ulcers, and diabetic foot ulcers and this imposes substantial morbidity and mortality on millions of the elderly. The effect of wound therapies on universal outcomes includes functional status, pain, physical impairment, mobility, and cognitive impairment, as opposed to wound-specific outcomes.
Although wound care technologies are improving, the number of cases of infected non-healing wounds that have led to below the knee amputation hindering mobility is on the rise throughout the world. It is difficult for the people in this age group to take care of themselves and to go for regular hospital checkups.
E-bandage has the capability to monitor the wound healing process by assessing the wound environment that presents very different characteristics at different stages of healing. This would reduce the need to remove bandages and potentially disturb the wound. Additionally, it could also help create a more efficient hospital environment as caregivers can reduce the time spent on treating individual patients.
The E-bandage provides real-time monitoring and delivery of treatment with limited intervention from the patient or caregivers.
We’ve been able to take a new approach to bandages because of the emergence of flexible electronics. In fact, flexible electronics have made many wearable medical devices possible, but bandages have changed little since the beginnings of medicine. We are simply applying modern technology to an ancient art in the hopes of improving outcomes for an intractable problem
The Azure IoT central application displays different parameters of the condition of the wound as shown below.
e-bandage plug and play device
The device is a plug and play device embedded with various sensors including temperature sensor, ph sensor, lactase sensor, oxygen sensor, that collect reading from the wound.
The pH of a chronic wound is one of the key parameters for monitoring its progress. Normal healing wounds fall within the range of pH 5.5 to 6.5, whereas non-healing infected wounds can have pH well above 6.5. Temperature is also an important parameter, providing information on the level of inflammation in and around the wound. While the smart bandages in this study combine pH and temperature sensors, Sonkusale and his team of engineers have also developed flexible sensors for oxygenation – another marker of healing – which can be integrated into the bandage. Inflammation could also be tracked not just by heat, but by specific biomarkers as well.
E bandage circuit diagram
A microprocessor reads the data from the sensors and can release drugs on demand from its carriers by heating the gel. The entire construct is attached to a transparent medical tape to form a flexible bandage less than 3 mm thick. Components were selected to keep the bandage low cost and disposable, except for the microprocessor, which can be re-used.
e bandage casing diagram
The e-bandage created, with pH and temperature sensors and antibiotic drug delivery, is really a prototype for a wide range of possibilities
One can imagine embedding other sensing components, drugs, and growth factors that treat different conditions in response