Students at the National Taiwan University have developed a 'smart bandage' that can monitor a patient's vital signs and transmit the information to a doctor using a phone or tablet. Elly Park reports.
Monitoring patients' vital signs is about to get a whole lot simpler, thanks to researchers at National Taiwan University. PhD student Li Cheng-Yuan and research fellow You Chuang-Wen created this device - a wearable, bandage-like monitor that transmits data to doctors directly. This 'smart bandage' is 3D printed using a soft material called Ninja Flex. Li says the design allows for multiple sensors to be swapped in and out of the casing, allowing doctors to personalize the device for individual patients. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) PHD STUDENT AT NATIONAL TAIWAN UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE & INFORMATION ENGINEERING, LI CHENG-YUAN, SAYING: "With our design we were hoping to provide something that's wearable, and the most convenient wearable design is something you can just attach to body. Our system is flexible which means that medical workers can install different sensors to measure different patient body information in different situations." Via Bluetooth the smart bandage sends information to remote devices. In the future the team hopes to improve its transmitting range so that patients can be monitored outside the hospital environment. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) PHD STUDENT AT NATIONAL TAIWAN UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE & INFORMATION ENGINEERING, LI CHENG-YUAN, SAYING: "If a patient wanted to go outside to get a bit of exercise, traditional medical equipment couldn't be taken with them. We are hoping this kind of wearable and flexible device can keep monitoring their body information even though they leave the ward." So far the device has been received positively by the tech community. The team hopes medical device companies will use their smart bandage to develop the next generation of remote sensors.... that will keep tabs on patients - no matter where they are.