Micro sensor could allow doctors to inspect wounds without removing bandages

  • A new technique is being developed that could use tiny sensors in bandages to allow doctors to inspect wounds using sound waves and data analysis techniques.

    One of the main problems doctors face when treating serious cuts and wounds is that it's difficult to inspect the wound without removing bandages but this can complicate matters by re-opening the wound. Certain injuries can be inspected without removing banadages, but for most cases a visual inspection is the current best option.

    Researchers at Heriot-Watt University are now working to develop tiny sensors that can be used to produce data on what's happening under a bandage. The microscopic sensor will vibrate to produce sound waves, which will travel through the bandage and into the tissue, then it will listen for what happens to the sound as it passes through the skin. It's a technique similar to ultrasound, but on a much smaller scale and taking advantage of recent improvements in data processing technology.

    The team hopes that this technique will be able to recreate data on the physical state of the injury site that will be just as effective as a visual inspection without the risk of re-opening the wound or exposing it to complications such as infections. In order to develop the technology, the team is taking precise 3D scans of skin and then comparing that to the difference in sound waves as they pass through it.

    The goal of the project is to add data into the process of wound inspection, allowing modern data analysis techniques to be used. This could include using AI or machine learning to interpret the sound sensor data, producing a system that can effectively 'listen' to healing wounds and make sense of the data to produce inferences about the state of the injury site. Further development in this area could also help develop cost-effective and non-invasive tools for finding out what's going on inside the human body.

    Source: BBC News

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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