What does the pandemic have to do with amputations? Wound care is one of the things that is being put on the back burner in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, for many people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, people who have had recent surgeries, and people with circulation issues, wounds need specialized care to ensure they don’t worsen. Even more unfortunate is the fact that many of the people with these kinds of conditions are the same ones who are in nursing homes, long term care facilities, and post-acute care facilities. Can a breakthrough in telehealth wound care help prevent complications in vulnerable populations?
Why Is Wound Care Important?
Complications from wounds that aren’t healing can include infections, amputations, and even death.
People who are most at risk are already avoiding unnecessary trips to the doctor or to the emergency room. In many cases, facilities that deal with wound care have been shut down to stop the spread of COVID-19, and healthcare providers who treat these conditions are being barred from entering facilities where patients are living to protect the most vulnerable.
Wound care is a highly specialized field, and while some wounds can be treated at home, specialized wound care is highly necessary for more complicated cases.
While protecting people from COVID-19 is clearly the top priority, getting them access to specialized wound care is also very important during this difficult time.
How Telehealth Works For Wound Care
Ordinary telehealth measures aren’t optimal for wound care. Smartphone cameras aren’t set up to give medical providers an accurate image of what a wound looks like. Medical providers need to know the color, width, and depth of a wound to gauge whether it is healing properly.
New advances in telehealth wound care do just that. AI can help give a more accurate representation of the color of a wound, crucial in the attempt of knowing whether it is healing or not.
That same technology can give a clearer image of the depth of a wound and the width of a wound, which are also important indicators of healing.
What’s more, telehealth wound care makes all the prior knowledge about a given patient’s wound able to be accessed by any medical provider in a practice, so even if a patient doesn’t see the same medical provider every time the accurate information is still there.
Will Telehealth Wound Care Continue After The Pandemic?
Telehealth has been touted as a way to get medical providers into rural and remote communities where doctors aren’t able to sustain a regular practice. But for some conditions, traveling to a larger city to see a doctor remains the best option.
Because of the advances in telehealth wound care, this technology has the potential to bring better wound care to rural and remote communities, especially to those who lack the means of traveling to a larger city for medical care.
Learn more about advances in the technology behind better, more accurate telehealth wound care below.