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Wireless pressure monitoring of elastic compression bandages

The problem
Chronic venous insufficiency affects up to 50% of the adult population and it is estimated that 1% of the UK population will suffer from leg ulceration during their lifetime. The majority of these ulcers are caused by vascular disease (venous, arterial and lymphatic), with venous disease accounting for 60-80% of leg ulceration cases.
Correctly applied compression therapy is now recognised as the main treatment for both the preventive and therapeutic care of venous disease, with high compression bandaging now established as the treatment of choice for venous leg ulceration. Studies suggest that healing rates above 50% after 12 weeks of therapy can be achieved. Nevertheless, its effectiveness is strictly related to the proper tensioning and pressure exerted by each bandage layer, whose application typically requires highly-trained and specialized practitioners. The incorrect application not only jeopardizes the success of the therapy but also provokes severe injuries to the patient (pressure ulcers).
Our solution
Following the paradigm of e-Health, RADIO6ENSE has developed a flexible, soft and batteryless wireless pressure sensor for the next-gen of smart/interconnected compression therapy kit.
The solution meets the requirements of having multiple sensors with wireless access, minimum electronics circuitry and no battery. The sensor is manufactured with biocompatible materials and its softness reduces the risk of pressure sores. Moreover, the size of the sensor is miniaturized for a greater comfort of the user and the possibility of using multiple sensors in different locations of the medical treatment.
Our device also enables monitoring of temperature, useful for early detection of infections, for instance when the bandage is applied near wounds.
The sensor can be read through-the-bandages (and clothes) from remote, by an external reader unit. The collected physical parameters can be processed by our visualisation tools.
Expected benefits
The R6E solution is green/sustainable (battery-less) and low-cost, hence suitable for single-patient usage. Thanks to its softness and low profile, sensors can be inserted in strategic points in order to detect the pressure during banding, thus allowing to establish the optimal tension for a correct compression therapy. In addition, the solution helps non-expert users mitigate the risk of mistakes, causing dangerous harm to the patient. Moreover, the kit can be also used for supporting the specific training for sanitary operators.
The wireless data detection enables tele-medicine features through the monitoring of the state of bandage performed directly by the patient, following the innovative concept of Pervasive Healthcare.
The same technology can be used also for other sensors for biophysical monitoring, hence enabling the next step towards the paradigm of the Digital Transformation of Healthcare.