Most foot and leg ulcers are caused by diabetes and vascular problems but an important number of them are also due to other diseases (e.g. kidney disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure). More than 10 million people in Europe suffer from chronic wounds, a number which is expected to grow due to the aging of the population.

The EU-funded project SWAN-iCare is developing a smart device that could greatly help patients and clinicians.

The system is based on the negative-pressure wound therapy. This technique can accelerate healing of wounds by using a vacuum which increases blood flow in the wounded area.

See this video that details the healing process.

The dressing is connected to a wearable device that monitors the therapy and the wound. Information can directly be sent to a remote computer, a tablet or a smartphone through a wireless connection.

The device will allow clinicians and patients to:

  • Clinicians

- Remotely monitor the wound healing process without the patient attending a clinic. Provide both wound diagnostic and treatment in a single device for diabetic foot ulcers and venous leg ulcers.

- Access real time quantitative data assisted by software decision support systems to monitor the wound healing process and personalise the treatment protocols enabling faster wound healing.

- Earlier identify potential infection in order to minimise cost and risk to patient safety.

  • Patients

- Personalised treatment to meet their individual needs.

- Improve the quality of life with the reassurance that their condition is being remotely monitored.

- Reduce their dependency on clinical visits and the associated costs for the patient and the healthcare system.

The EU is investing €6 million in SWAN-iCare. The project started in 2012. The team currently builds the wearable system on the basis of user and medical requirements and business cases identified by medical doctors - who are leading experts in wound care management - and industrial partners. The first integrated prototype for demonstration is expected in February 2015.

The project is led by the Greek company EXUS and includes partners from Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The worldwide leader in wound management Smith & Nephew is notably part of the consortium.

Project
Smart wearable and autonomous negative pressure device for wound monitoring and therapy
Project coordinator
Dr Leonidas Lymberopoulos
Project Acronym
SWAN-iCare