Dr. Alicia Oropallo discusses digital imaging’s use and value in AAWC webinar
Telemedicine is the future of wound care, and digital tools such as imaging technology will play a vital and expanding role, says Alisha Oropallo, MD, MS, FACS, FAPWCA, director of the Comprehensive Wound Health Center at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, NY.
In a recent webinar produced for the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC) and sponsored by Net Health, Dr. Oropallo describes how wound care clinicians are using digital tools to improve both patient care and their organizations’ bottom line. Drawing on her own experience with Net Health’s Tissue Analytics tool, Dr. Oropallo shares tips for choosing and using digital imaging technology to manage wounds and wound care and discusses its benefits and challenges.
Selecting the right tool
Use of digital wound measurement devices is booming, driven in large part by COVID-19 and the transition to telehealth. There are many digital imaging tools available, each with advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to choose a product that best fits your workflow and budget, says Dr. Oropallo. When evaluating, she suggests asking these questions: Does the technology increase efficiency? Does it provide the objective and consistent information necessary to follow the patient’s care? Does it improve compliance?
Setting up for success
At Northwell, digital imaging has been a valuable resource for enabling continuity of care and expanding resources, notes Dr. Oropallo. Clinicians can monitor wounds over time to see how effective different medications are. More accurate wound measurement also has led to a decrease in biologic agent use.
In the webinar, Dr. Oropallo demonstrates how Northwell clinicians use the Tissue Analytics tool, and she shares techniques for achieving optimal imaging results:
- Use the same digital camera for successive images
- Use the same image resolution settings
- Use the same light source, at the same intensity and angle
- Have the camera at the same angle, distance, rotation and height from the wound
- Select the same magnification for the digital camera lens (“zoom”)
- Choose a naming convention and put case identification, number or date in the image
Research and ROI
Dr. Oropallo predicts that digital imaging will not only transform wound treatment, but also wound care research. She gives one example of how digital imaging might be used in conjunction with a wound implant to monitor a patient remotely over time.
The webinar concludes with a question-and-answer session that addresses some of the challenges in using digital imaging, cost and ROI.
“If you are documenting thousands of wounds, digital imaging is going to be very important for the quality of care,” Dr. Oropallo concludes. The technology makes it possible to treat patients in 10 to 15 minutes and follow up more frequently.
Do you want to improve the quality and efficiency of your wound care? Put the digital imaging best practices in this webinar to work for your organization today!
View the webinar to learn more about digital imaging’s benefits and best practices and get a brochure from Net Health with further information.
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