Researchers in Britain have begun a series of clinical trials of “smart plaster,” a disposable bandage with embedded sensors that measure vital signs and wirelessly transmit the readings to a monitoring device.
The first round of trials will test the accuracy of heart rate, body temperature and respiration rate, as measured by the basic bandage. A second set of tests will see how the devices perform when patients with minor conditions take a shower or get x-rays. In the final round, the bandages will monitor patients recovering from serious respiratory ailments. “We need to challenge the device a little bit and make sure it is reliable,”
Oliver and others involved in the trials believe the wireless monitors not only could free hospital patients from a tangle of wires, they could help monitor people at home, locate patients at risk of falling or even aid top athletes in their training.