Basic bandage getting high-tech upgrade with smart technology to speed healing

John Gregory Image
Thursday, May 30, 2024
'Smart bandages' represent the future of healing technology
Diabetes patients among others could benefit from high-tech bandages that monitor healing and dispense tiny doses of medicine.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The basic bandage that has remained similar in design for years could be getting a high-tech upgrade.

Researchers are developing "smart bandages" which may have the ability to analyze and react to how a wound is healing - and help the process along.

The Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything podcast recently highlighted how the new bandages will be filled with tiny sensors which can monitor the progress of wound healing. Some will allow doctors to remotely dispense treatment.

"The doctor can give a little zap of electricity that can help promote healing," said medical journalist Elizabeth Cohen. "The doctor can open a tiny little valve in the bandage to release some kind of an ointment or cream."

Experts believe it would be a game-changer for people with diabetes, which often stalls the healing of wounds.

Many smart bandages have shown promising results in lab tests, but they're still years from hitting the market.

"There are for sure some technical challenges but really when I talk to experts what they talk about is more the financial challenges," Cohen said. "You have to convince Medicare. You have to convince insurance companies to pay for this. You have to figure out how it's going to be paid for. Really that's the big challenge ahead."