Pressure ulcers, often known as bedsores, are a big problem for people who are bed-bound for long periods of time. Continual pressure can cause painful, inflamed ulcers that quickly become infected and difficult to treat. Inflammation leads to a raised temperature, so carers can keep a look-out for infections by monitoring a patient’s overall body temperature with a thermometer. But it’s a lot harder to measure changes in pressure. As a solution, researchers have developed tiny wireless temperature and pressure sensors, each around the size of a penny, that stick onto the skin and draw their power from a receiver under the bed. Using an array of up to 65 sensors placed all over the body, the researchers can detect any troublesome hotspots (red and orange areas) before they develop into full-blown bedsores. They eventually hope to use the same approach to wirelessly measure heart rate and breathing patterns too.
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