Improving Healing Outcomes with Remote Wound Care
Patients with slow healing, chronic wounds often require assessment and treatment by wound care experts to facilitate proper tissue repair. Unfortunately, some of these people live in areas where it is challenging to gain access to proper wound care specialists or facilities. For patients living in underserved and under-resourced communities, remote wound care is a viable option of healthcare delivery.
What Is Remote Wound Care?
Remote wound care refers to all the activities and techniques used to cater to a patient’s wounds without either party being physically present. Remote wound care is conducted at a distance using virtual video and audio communication platforms. Telehealth platforms allow wound care clinicians to give instructions, perform routine wound assessments and supervise local wound care measures. In remote wound care settings, virtual consultations between patients and wound care providers replace physical visits to long-term care facilities.
What Does Remote Wound Care Offer?
Remote wound care incorporates the principles of telehealth and telemedicine. These concepts provide a patient-centered approach to wound care allowing wound care professionals to provide excellent care to their patients even at a distance. Various telemedicine platforms offer secure patient data storage as well as video conferencing options. These allow wound care providers to conduct visual wound assessments and access vital information key to patient management.
Benefits of Remote Wound Care
For patients unable to seek wound care at a wound care facility or clinic, remote wound care management offers them the opportunity to receive the necessary treatment and advice. Key benefits of utilizing remote wound care services include:
- Unrestricted access to expert wound care advice
- Timely wound reviews
- Supervised wound dressing application and replacement
Unrestricted Access to Expert Wound Care Advice
Remote wound care affords patients in under-served or hard to reach locations an opportunity to consult with wound care professionals about their wound healing progress and receive vital tips to help improve the management process. Patients who receive remote wound care can also utilize the platforms to discuss their treatment expectations and other psychosocial aspects of their wound management.
Timely Wound Reviews
Remote virtual consultations can be conducted using video conferencing allowing patients have their wounds assessed regularly to ensure an optimized healing process is being maintained.
Supervised Wound Dressing Processes
Wound dressing is a crucial aspect of local wound care regardless of wound etiology. Remote wound care platforms allow wound care providers to guide the wound dressing process remotely by giving precise instructions to patients or their home caregivers. Further, advice on the most appropriate wound dressing choices can be offered via remote wound care platforms.
Components of Telemedicine Relevant to Remote Wound Management
Telemedicine which includes all the clinical services available to a patient being treated virtually includes the following components:
For patients requiring remote wound care, all three areas are critical to proper and adequate wound management. Teleconsultations can be conducted via videoconferencing apps with the patient present. This will give wound care clinicians a chance to visually inspect wound progress and listen to patient feedback on instituted treatment protocols. Teleassistance allows critical wound inspections, cleaning, debridement, and dressings to be done by patients or their relatives under remote expert guidance. Teleexpertise will allow multiple wound care specialists to review a patient’s data after obtaining required permissions/consent.
How Can Wound Healing Outcomes Be Optimized Remotely?
Patients with both acute to chronic wounds can benefit from remote wound care. Wound care clinicians can communicate with the persons they treat via various telehealth platforms and devices. The WoundPros offers two state-of-the-art telehealth solutions in this regard; RITA a wound management platform powered by artificial intelligence and remote vitals monitoring.
RITA is an AI-driven telehealth solution that provides remote, holistic patient care to individuals with acute or chronic non-healing wounds needing professional care. RITA performs automatic wound measurement at the bedside or remotely as well as analysis and documentation with patients’ data securely stored on dedicated servers. This information is accessible to authorized partner wound care facilities allowing clinicians to review and monitor each patient’s progress closely. This allows informed clinical decision-making and patient feedback possible from any location without the need for a physical visit to a wound care facility.
Remote Vitals Monitoring
Similar to RITA, the Wound Pros also offers a remote vitals monitoring application powered by AI. Remote vitals monitoring software can be installed on standard smartphone devices and uses a video-based approach to measure patient vitals, e.g., oxygen saturation, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, temperature, and stress levels. These vital signs are routinely monitored in wound care and deviations often help wound care experts determine if an adverse wound healing process is ongoing. For example, variations in blood pressure and high temperatures (fevers) might indicate pathological stress and ongoing wound infection. Providing real-time patient data to wound care experts will allow them to rapidly implement corrective measures remotely. Remote vitals monitoring will be particularly beneficial to persons with underlying health conditions complicating or causing their wounds, living in under-served communities where access to wound care is limited or non-existent.