It’s no surprise that technological advances have driven the growth of virtual care and nursing telemedicine (remote diagnosis and treatment of patients) in recent years. One area of healthcare where that’s been especially useful is wound care. The need for wound treatment and management typically outpaces the number of available healthcare practitioners to provide it. Now a U.S. based company has partnered with a United Kingdom community health foundation in the development and implementation of a new telemedicine and wound care program.
U.S. based Woundmatrix is the creator of a telehealth solution that allows patients to upload wound images to healthcare practitioners for immediate assessment and wound care monitoring. The Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) is a United Kingdom not-for-profit, community health provider. The two entities have entered into a 10-year partnership agreement with the goal of improving patient wound care while reducing the cost per individual case. According to a Woundmatrix press release, identifying, preventing, and treating wounds accounts for 60 percent of the community nursing workload. The WoundMatrix mobile application will allow KCHFT nurses and clinicians to monitor and track patient wounds, including sores and pressure ulcers, on mobile tablets in real time. Wound care specialists in Kent were key players in the design of the mobile app. Based on high-definition wound images, care providers will be able to “assess and prescribe next steps quicker and more effectively, making sure patients consistently receive good quality wound care.” The app technology allows healthcare providers to map the wound bed and measure each tissue type so that a comparison can be made with previous assessments. WoundMatrix CEO Sean Geary stated in the release that “The 10-year partnership between WoundMatrix and KCHFT could revolutionize wound care in the home.”
While technology-assisted wound care can’t replace the clinical expertise of healthcare staff, it can aid clinicians in the accurate assessment and treatment of wounds, and reduce the time and cost required to deliver quality care. It could also potentially prevent unnecessary doctor’s office and ER visits and deliver expert wound care to patients in under-served rural areas.