Thursday, November 08, 2018

3D tech makes wound management quick and painless

Taking measurements of wounds such as like ulcers is a routine part of wound care management. But the process can be uncomfortable for patients, as care staff take manual measurements using rulers and probes and may apply pressure to the wound while doing so.

Now imagine the care staff today holding a scanner, linked to a tablet device, over a patient's wound. With a tap of the screen, an image of the wound is taken, scanned,measured and immediately recorded. More observations can be picked from a drop-down list of visual references and added to the patient's record.

Meanwhile, a doctor is monitoring the information in his office. By comparing the recent wound against older images, and evaluating the patient's nutritional information and blood sugar levels, the doctor can make real-time recommendations to the care staff on how to treat the wound.

No contact, no pain, and all done in minutes.

This scenario will soon become a reality at Ren Ci's nursing homes in the first half of 2019. Ren Ci Hospital and Tetsuyu Healthcare developed and pilot-tested the CARES4WOUNDS wound management application. This state-of-the-art application is capable of capturing 3D images of wounds, measure, record, monitor progress and even provide treatment guidance.

A nurse assessing a patient’s condition via the app. 

CARES4WOUNDS was created in response to the challenge of wound management in the Community Care sector. As the population ages, Community Care staff will see more geriatric patients seeking help with wound care (especially diabetic ulcers), and they need a more timely solution to the conventional method of manual wound measurement and observation.

Taking the 2D and 3D images, then storing them, is straightforward with the tablet application and 3D scanner. Care staff can easily learn how to use the app and the proper way to measure wounds with a few hands-on practice sessions. The technology minimises the need for staff to write reports. Medical records are also standardised. The innovation facilitates clinical education as well.

“As one of the major healthcare providers in the ILTC sector, we take pride in improving our processes, service and quality to create more value for our patients and staff. We need to harness new healthcare technologies to offer the best care possible for the patients and achieve efficiency gains operationally. We see the opportunity for us to raise the quality of care, especially within Nursing Homes,“ said Madam Jenny Sim, Chief Nurse, Ren Ci Hospital.

A nurse is in the midst of taking an image of a patient’s wound.

For now, Ren Ci and Tetsuyu are continuing to improve on CARES4WOUNDS such as making wound measurement fully automated. In the long term, they hope to apply artificial intelligence to the app to help with infection detection and wound healing guidance.

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