Oregon Girl Invents 'Smart Bandage,' Wows Google
13-year-old's invention wins her $15K scholarship
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 5, 2016 2:30 AM CDT
Anushka Naiknaware works at her home in Beaverton, Ore, developing and testing a bandage that can tell medical workers when it's time for the dressing to be changed.   (Ravi Naiknaware)
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(Newser) – An Oregon teenager has invented a bandage that can tell doctors when it needs to be changed, impressing Google judges and securing a $15,000 scholarship. Anushka Naiknaware, 13, placed in the top eight in an international science contest run by Google, the AP reports. She won the Lego Education Builder Award, which included the scholarship, a free trip to Lego world headquarters in Denmark, and a year of entrepreneurship mentoring from a Lego executive, reports the Oregonian.

Large wounds must be kept moist to promote healing, but changing bandages too often to check moisture levels can make things worse. To solve that problem, Anushka, a seventh-grader at Stoller Middle School in Portland, designed and tested a bandage that is embedded with tiny monitors. They can sense moisture levels and allow medical workers to determine whether the dressing has dried out enough that the bandage needs to be changed. Google judges named her one of 16 global finalists, all of whom traveled to the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., to present their project. Anushka was the youngest person to win one of the global prizes.