Post-op app helps patients monitor infections

Wireless sensor company Gentag has debuted a new app that can sense pressure, elevated temperature and other signs of post-surgical infection, the company recently announced.

The technology, developed with Phoenix-based surgery practice The Core Institute, uses skin patches embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) sensors. The sensors identify tissue swelling and increased temperature, and transmit that information wirelessly to a patient's cell phone via near-field-communication (NFC) technology. Patients can self-monitor their own surgical sites from home, and hopefully identify incipient infections and prevent re-hospitalizations, officials say.

Right now the technology is only available for post-op trials in orthopedics, company officials report. Full commercial launch is set for 2012, starting with monitors to identify swelling inside of casts. The technology eventually will be used to monitor pressure points to prevent pressure ulcers, Gentag officials say.

The technology will be compatible with Google, Blackberry, Samsung, Nokia and other NFC-enabled cell phones, and may be bundled into monitoring kits that hospitals can give to patients at discharge. One possible caveat: Gentag admits "FDA approval will be required for some applications," which could affect the final rollout timeline.

To learn more:
- here's Gentag's press release
- read more details at Medgadget