Wound care is a critical part of health care, but one that too often gets overlooked in research in favor of bigger, more prestigious endeavors like cancer detection or treating heart disease. But the number of people treated for wounds far outpaces those who need most other kinds of health care. And while it might seem like clinicians are simply wrapping a wound to protect it, there is far more going on underneath the bandage than a little ointment and cotton gauze.
Anushka Naiknaware, 13, knows that effective treatment of wounds involves balancing several different but interdependent goals: stopping any bleeding, absorbing any excess fluid, addressing signs of infection, and keeping the wound at the optimum moisture level to heal quickly and cleanly. To that end, she's created a bandage with a built-in sensor to do all of these things.