The world of wound care is fascinating and complex, and so is the never-ending mission to find better ways to treat the millions of patients affected by chronic and acute wounds.
Traditionally, innovation in wound care has lagged behind other areas of medicine. However, that’s all changed in recent years due to the advent of new technologies and the novel application of existing ones. We’ve entered a new era where the way wound care is approached and delivered is being completely transformed. And one where the future is so bright . . . as the song says, “we’ll have to wear shades.”
On the Horizon
Numerous products in development reflect this new wave in wound care. For example, researchers in Paris are employing a simple, flexible pressure sensor for chronic wound monitoring. The sensor is embedded into a commercial dressing and monitors how firmly a dressing is glued on the skin surface, alerting caregivers to potential ischemia.
Breakthroughs are also being made in regenerative medicine. Placental and other tissues are being applied to non-healing wounds to promote cell proliferation and create allografts that provide significant healing benefits for chronic wounds, foot ulcers and burns. Though placental tissue has been part of wound care since the early twentieth century, researchers are exploring exciting new ways to utilize this ideal regenerative wound-healing therapy.1
The Power of Prediction
Equally exciting are advances being made in the application of familiar technologies. Electronic health records (EHR) have become the backbone for using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to build new analytical tools that are revolutionizing wound care.
At Net Health, we see the future of innovation in the expansion and widespread adoption of these technologies. Predictive analytics, made possible by AI, is truly a game-changer for both researchers and clinicians and a primary focus for our business. For example, the Net Health Wound Care software platform now includes the Risk of Amputation Indicator, developed to reduce the risk of amputations, and the Wound Healing Velocity Indicator, which predicts wound healing rates. These tools provide insights needed to develop optimal patient therapies, implement effective interventions, and plan treatment paths to improve outcomes.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but digital images as part of the EHR are invaluable for wound care providers. Flat Polaroids with a handwritten description and measurements taken with a ruler have been replaced with advanced digital imaging tools such as Net Health’s Tissue Analytics. As a result, wounds can be photographed with a smartphone or tablet, are automatically measured and classified, and become accessible to anyone on a patient’s treatment team. The precision of these sophisticated programs dramatically increases the accuracy of recorded data, thus reducing error rates, cutting down costs, and leading to more successful healing. Expect more advances in this area as the technology continues to be refined.
Wound Care with Confidence
The recent and nascent innovations in wound care are astounding. With new technologies, the dedicated professionals who treat the many types of non-healing wounds can do so with even greater confidence, support, and success.
For more insights into the latest wound care technology
And visit Net Health Wound Care-Tissue Analytics
“Benefits and Limitations of Placental Tissue for Wound Healing.” Web blog post. The Wound Pros. February 22, 2022.