Wound care is critical for those who have undergone surgeries, been injured, exposed to chemicals, or have certain health conditions. Wounds that do not heal completely within six weeks are known as chronic wounds. Did you know that chronic wounds affect roughly 6.5 million people in the United States each year? If these wounds go untreated, they can cause organ failure, limb amputation, and even death – so it is incredibly important to receive treatment and regularly monitor healing progress. The positive news is that chronic wounds can heal if they receive the proper treatment. Here are 3 Tech Trends that can help health care providers and patients in 2021:
Trend #1 – TELEHEALTH CONTINUES TO GAIN TRACTION
Many patients report higher satisfaction using telehealth than in person care. A study at the West Virginia School of Medicine observed 30 patients recovering from vascular surgery. Of these patients 16 were assigned to use a telemedicine app to monitor their healing, the other 14 people used standard wound care. After 30 days of treatment the patients using a telemedicine app reported significantly greater increases to their quality of life and higher levels of general satisfaction with their healing process.
“If the wound is not getting imaged or if its dimensions are not being documented on a regular basis, we have no way of objectively tracking wound healing.”
Dr. John Phillips
Cardiovascular Surgeon, Ohio Health
Trend #2 – NEW REIMBURSEMENT CODES FOR TELEHEALTH
In the past, some medical practitioners have been wary of the adoption of telehealth services because of the complexity of reimbursement. There has been a misconception that providers cannot be reimbursed for their telemedicine appointments or that they will get reimbursed at a lower rate. However, this is false and as a result of the covid-19 pandemic there have been new reimbursement codes put into effect to promote use of telehealth.
In 2020, the federal government, state Medicaid programs, and private insurers expanded coverage for telehealth services. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has broadened access to Medicare telehealth services so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility. The 1135 waiver facilitates the expansion of telehealth. Under this new waiver all health care practitioners who are authorized to bill Medicare for their professional services may also furnish and bill for telehealth services. This allows health care professionals who were not previously authorized under the statute to furnish and bill for Medicare telehealth services. Medicare will pay the same amount for telehealth services as it would if the service were furnished in person.
Trend #3 – ADOPTING TELEHEALTH TO WOUND CARE
Although not all wound care procedures can be completed through telehealth, telehealth ‘visits’ are still a viable alternative for patients who are remote or not able to make it to the physician’s office. This is accomplished through technology like WoundWiseIQ that has minimal upfront cost, utilizing smartphones and tablets that a majority of the population already own. Patients’ wounds can be imaged and measured through the WoundWiseIQ app. The precise measurements of the wound accurately track healing progress, and are able to quickly identify if it is not healing properly, resulting in less amputations and deaths caused by chronic wounds. The patented algorithm that WoundWiseIQ uses can analyze the wound perimeter and the various colors of the wound calculated by percentage, and all image and wound data is immediately available to remote approved care providers. This is far more accurate than the manual measuring that typically is used in wound care.
“At WoundWiseIQ our mission is to build innovative technology to help healthcare providers be even more proactive in healing wounds.”
CEO Med-Compliance IQ, Inc.
Learn more about WoundWiseIQ by contacting the team directly, or the product can also be purchased from approved wound care product providers who sell their product along with WoundWiseIQ. See a demo here: https://woundwiseiq.com/schedule-demo/