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DARPA wants smart bandages for wounded warriors

Nowhere is prompt and effective medical treatment more important than on the battlefield, where injuries are severe and conditions dangerous. DARPA thinks that outcomes can be improved by the use of intelligent bandages and other systems that predict and automatically react to the patients needs.
Ordinary cuts and scrapes just need a bit of shelter and time and your amazing immune system takes care of things. But soldiers not only receive far graver wounds, but under complex conditions that are not just a barrier to healing but unpredictably so.
DARPAs Bioelectronics for Tissue Regeneration program, or BETR, will help fund new treatments and devices that closely track the progress of the wound and then stimulate healing processes in real time to optimize tissue repair and regeneration.
Wounds are living environments and the conditions change quickly as cells and tissues communicate and attempt to repair, said Paul Sheehan, BETR program manager, in a DARPA news release. An ideal treatment would sense, process, and respond to these changes in the wound state and intervene to correct and speed recovery. For example, we anticipate interventions that modulate immune response, recruit necessary cell types to the wound, or direct how stem cells differentiate to expedite healing.
Its not hard to imagine what these interventions might comprise. Smart watches are capable of monitoring several vital signs already, and in fact have alerted users to such things as heart-rate irregularities. A smart bandage would use any signal it can collect optical, biochemical, bioelectronic, or mechanical to monitor the patient and either recommend or automatically adjust treatment.

Apple launched a study to look for irregular heart rhythms on the Apple Watch
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