An important care issue in nursing homes and senior living centers is appropriate and timely wound care, specifically the treatment of pressure ulcers, sometimes called pressure sores. Pressure ulcers are areas of damaged skin caused by staying in one position for too long, such as from being bedridden or in a wheelchair. This kind of wound can cause serious, even life-threatening, infections. Long-term care facilities are required to take depth measurements for such pressure injuries, but this is painful and invasive for patients, as it is typically done by probing the wound for measurement using a cotton swab. This creates the risk of contamination or spread of infection. Now a new technology has been developed that helps alleviate this problem.
Swift Medical, a company that provides wound care management technology, recently introduced Swift AutoDepth, which allows healthcare professionals to take wound depth measurements at the patient’s bedside using a smartphone camera. The clinician captures and analyzes images simply by waving the smartphone over the wound. Thousands of points between images are tracked; Swift AutoDepth then generates the information needed to measure depth. This development enables contact-free and painless documentation of wound depth and other key wound indicators in seconds, without the use of expensive medical devices or risk of contamination. Wound visualization, measurement, and analysis can easily be shared with care providers who are not present at the bedside. PointClickCare, a provider of cloud-based technology solutions for senior care providers, will be one of the first to integrate Swift AutoDepth. As PointClickCare chief technology officer Dave Wessinger pointed out, “Pressure ulcers are both a serious wellness issue for seniors living in long-term care facilities and one of the fastest growing sources of litigation risk for providers.” The Swift AutoDepth integration with PointClickCare technology will improve patient care delivery and reduce legal risks for providers.
An automated, touch-free capability for measuring wound depth is an important innovation that will ensure better outcomes in wound care treatment. The new technology will mitigate legal liability through better documentation, and importantly, improve care delivery, reduce wound care risks like infection, and increase collaboration and sharing of diagnostic information among the care team: a big win for patients.