University of Swansea trialling pioneering 5G technology in 'smart bandages'

Jane Richards
April 19, 2017

Made of a fabric laced with minute particles of electro-conductive ink, the bandages feedback real-time reports of how an open wound, from injuries such as burns, are healing.

While nanotech experts would produce the sensors that "read" changes in the wound, the actual bandage would be made using a 3D printer to save money.

Professor Marc Clement, ILS chairman, said, "5G is an opportunity to produce resilient, robust bandwidth that is always there for the goal of healthcare".

There are already clinical trials underway on smart bandages that glow bright yellow if the wound has been infected. In addition, this cutting-edge smart bandage will also keep the patient informed of the healing process, by connecting with their smartphone and monitoring everything from diet to exercise, and of course, the wound healing process. Marc Clement, chairman of Swansea University's Institute of Life Science, says the bandages will use 5G technology and doctors can monitor the condition of the wound in real time.

Scientists at the Swansea University produced a smart bandage, which uses nanotechnology and 5G wireless data to transmit the health status of a wound to doctors.

This project is part of the recent £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) Swansea Bay City deal, which aims to turn the Welsh city into a 5G test hub.

"Traditional medicine may be where a clinician might see a patient and then prescribe the treatment approach for one to three months", Clement said.

The plaster would help clinicians know the performance of the specific wound at any specific time, who can then tailor the treatment protocol for the individual. "What the future holds is a world where there's the ability to vary the treatment to the individual, the lifestyle and the pattern of life".

The bandage would use very small sensors to detect issues such as infection, alerting the doctor using 5G technology if such a problem arose. Nanotechnology, nano electronics, printing and coating biochemistry all of this is connected to the 5G infrastructure.

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