Telemedicine for wound management

Indian J Plast Surg. 2012 May;45(2):412-7. doi: 10.4103/0970-0358.101330.

Abstract

The escalating physiological, psychological, social and financial burdens of wounds and wound care on patients, families and society demand the immediate attention of the health care sector. Many forces are affecting the changes in health care provision for patients with chronic wounds, including managed care, the limited number of wound care therapists, an increasingly ageing and disabled population, regulatory and malpractice issues, and compromised care. The physician is also faced with a number of difficult issues when caring for chronic wound patients because their conditions are time consuming and high risk, represent an unprofitable part of care practice and raise issues of liability. Telemedicine enhances communication with the surgical wound care specialist. Digital image for skin lesions is a safe, accurate and cost-effective referral pathway. The two basic modes of telemedicine applications, store and forward (asynchronous transfer) and real-time transmission (synchronous transfer, e.g. video conference), are utilized in the wound care setting. Telemedicine technology in the hands of an experienced physician can streamline management of a problem wound. Although there is always an element of anxiety related to technical change, the evolution of wound care telemedicine technology has demonstrated a predictable maturation process.

Keywords: Application; telemedicine; wound.