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London - Smart bandages that can detect how well a wound is healing and send messages back to a doctor will be trialled next year, scientists have said.

Tiny sensors are fitted into the dressings that can spot infections, pick up blood clotting, and send data back to a patient’s doctor. It could also connect to a smartphone in order to track other health concerns such as diet.

The new technology is to be trialled by Swansea University within the next 12 months.

Professor Marc Clement, chairman of the Institute of Life Science, said: “You combine all of that intelligence so the clinician knows the performance of the specific wound at any specific time and can then tailor the treatment protocol to the individual and wound in question.”

There are already clinical trials under way on smart bandages that glow bright yellow if the wound has been infected. Existing methods of detecting infections can take up to 48 hours to come through.

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Last year, it was reported that plasters and bandages could soon be fitted with the shells of crabs to help cuts and scrapes heal faster. The key ingredient in the dressing is a mineral called chitosan. It is known for its healing properties as well as its ability to kill bacteria and has been used in China to treat battle wounds for centuries.