GlobalData, a data and analytics company, on Monday said that technologies will serve as a means for patients to continue receiving high-quality care amidst healthcare shortages and resource cuts.
According to the data and analytics company, remote patient monitoring devices and digital health apps grew rapidly over the COVID-19 pandemic. In wound care space, monitoring tools existed well before the pandemic but lacked adoption due to data inconsistency.
According to GlobalData, the widespread adoption during the pandemic has helped to catalyze the integration of this technology into wound care practices.
With the help of Digital health apps, patients and healthcare workers can save and access health data on the same platform.
Patients track health indicators on their own or with monitoring devices, and clinicians check in on a regular basis, when prompted by the patient, or in response to irregular results, it added.
“Remote monitoring and health apps provide convenient and accessible care, especially to those with limited mobility or chronic conditions, like chronic wounds. They help to cut down on non-essential in-person visits or can help supplement care when visits are postponed or reduced, like during peak-COVID or in the current health worker shortage. They can also be used to track patient adherence to at-home treatment plans. This improvement in home healthcare adds confidence that patients are discharged from hospitals safely and will help to reduce hospital readmission rates,” Ashley Clarke, Medical Analyst at GlobalData, said in a statement.
According to GlobalData, digital record of wound healing and progression can contain images, interviews, and text-based information like monitoring data. Digital patient records can be accessed by multiple healthcare professionals anywhere and anytime, allowing for collaborative assessment and action, thus improving quality of care.
“Image/video resolution has been a shortfall of patient-collected data in the past. Now, most people have smartphones that have decent quality cameras. Digital health platforms often provide educational tools for patients and employ artificially intelligent (AI) software, both of which can be used to ensure that quality images, videos, and data are submitted,” Clarke added.
GlobalData claims that monitoring data can also be coupled with AI software to recognize worsening condition. Patient movement can be used to predict the location and severity of pressure wounds, or ongoing measurements of wound size, temperature, and colour can be used to identify infection, it added.
“Research in 2023 is also investigating ‘smart’ technology that enables real-time wound measurement, assessment, and treatment. These devices are controlled with smartphones and activated remotely, like ‘smart’ bandages that sense temperature and stimulate the wound to encourage healing and prevent infection. These proactive and assistive devices will be key to supplementing the efforts of healthcare workers and preventing the healthcare system from becoming over-burdened,” Clarke said on Monday.