Wound scanning app allows staff to monitor patients’ progress remotely
A Welsh NHS trust is the first in Wales to trial a groundbreaking app technology to monitor wound healing and track recovery progress.
Swansea Bay NHS trust is using the new “The Minuteful for Wound” app, developed by technology company Healthy.io, to scan and accurately measure wounds so staff can monitor them virtually.
Using the camera on smartphones and tablets as a diagnostic scanner, and capturing the images in a digital portal, the images can be shared securely among staff who can monitor and compare progress.
The portal gives the team full visibility of the status of each wound, helping to track their healing rates and identify any trends, while deteriorating wounds are highlighted for early intervention.
Being able to assess wounds accurately and consistently and track healing progress can reduce the healing time for patients, and eliminates the potential for nurses to interpret and record measurements differently.
The pilot project has been rolled out within the district nursing teams and wound clinics across Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, partly funded by the Welsh Government’s Digital Solutions Fund, which is co-ordinated by Digital Health Ecosystem Wales.
Not only does the app save time for clinical staff, it also helps to improve each patient’s experience as they can see their wound healing over time.
Catrin Codd, interim transformational lead for district nursing, said: “We are still in the pilot stage but we are already seeing some major benefits from using the app.
“Whereas senior nurses and our Tissue Viability nurse would have previously had to go to patients’ homes, this is less frequent as they can monitor wounds virtually.
“It also means that if a patient moves between services both services are able to access the patient information and wound images.
“Patients are also able to view the wounds themselves on the app. This helps to improve their well-being, they are better able to engage with their care when they can visibly see the progress of the wound as a time series of images.”
During a visit to Cimla Health and Social Care Centre, the Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “This is a great example of exploring new and different ways of working – using technology to optimise patient care.
“Led by the Swansea and Neath Port Talbot district nursing teams and supported by our Digital Solutions Fund, it was fantastic to see first-hand how the innovative wound care app is making a difference to patients and nurses.
“Our NHS faces significant competing demands but applying new and different ways of working helps ease pressure on our hardworking health care workforce and help reduce waiting times.”
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