Tech Solutions For Telehealth Wound Care (infographic)

COVID-19 has pulled the rug out from under us. Every aspect of our daily lives, from how we eat to how we go to work and school has changed. For many people living with a chronic health condition, the way they get medical care is also changing. Many of us are under orders not to go to the doctor unless it’s a life threatening emergency. But what if you have a chronic condition that needs to be managed? Is that a life threatening emergency? Unfortunately in many places the answer is no. Can telehealth save the day?

What Is Telehealth?

Under ordinary circumstances, communicating with a healthcare provider would need to be done through a HIPAA compliant platform. Because of the pandemic limiting travel and in-person meetings such as doctor and dentist appointments, the rules of HIPPA have been relaxed to accommodate new ways of meeting healthcare needs in a rapidly changing world. Telehealth options give physicians and other medical providers the opportunity to meet patients where they are, meaning they can communicate with patients any way that a patient is willing and able to do so. This includes social media messaging tools, video conferencing tools, and more.

Telehealth has turned out to be a great way to stay up-to-date on well checks, medication checks, and especially therapy. As more people than ever are suffering from the trauma caused by the pandemic, counselors are able to use telehealth to connect with people for whom therapy has been too difficult an option. Even Medicare and Medicaid are supporting payments for teletherapy options right now.

Unfortunately telemedicine is more of a stopgap measure than the future of medicine. There are some things that need to be seen in person in order to make the correct diagnosis, so telemedicine might not be the best thing in the long run. But for now, advances are being made in many sectors of telemedicine that could make it more viable in the future, and one of these areas is in telemedicine wound care.

Why Is Wound Care Important?

Chronic health conditions like diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and more can make patients more susceptible to COVID-19, but they can also make it harder for wounds to heal, leaving patients at risk of developing complications from simple wounds. With diabetes patients, simple wounds can lead to amputations if the wound isn’t treated correctly and monitored. Wounds that aren’t monitored can also become infected or grow deeper and larger in size, which can lead to further complications.

The patient populations most likely to be suffering from wounds that need specialized attention are those that are in retirement communities, nursing homes, assisted living, skilled nursing, home health, and similar situations. Because these are often the same populations that are more susceptible to COVID-19, outside specialists aren’t being allowed in at the same time they aren’t being allowed out except in the case of a dire emergency. This can be a recipe for disaster if wounds aren’t properly attended to during these difficult times.

How Telehealth Is Revolutionizing Wound Care

Advances in technology have made telehealth wound care not only possible, but also stronger, better, and more accurate. While ordinary smartphone cameras would have difficulty capturing accurate information about depth and color of wounds, which are information about whether they are healing or getting worse, new advances make it possible to get this crucial information right. There’s no need to expose these patients to the threat of contracting the virus in an outpatient treatment facility in order to get the care they need. Instead, telehealth cna help bring lifesaving care to patients who aren’t able to leave their homes.

Learn more about how technology is revolutionizing telehealth wound care below.

Infographic: Wound Care in the Age of the Coronavirus

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