Global technology company Healthy.io has launched the first use of its innovative wound care app in Wales, allowing patients to have their wounds assessed and monitored from the comfort of their own home.
The eight-month project, currently being rolled out in Swansea Bay University Health Board across Swansea Bay and Neath Port Talbot, is financed by Welsh Government’s Digital Solutions Fund (DSF) that is coordinated by Digital Health Ecosystem Wales (DHEW). The project has already reached 30 patients in between the period of the 11th and 26th of October, with 36 individual wounds being digitally monitored and 9 wound types identified by 18 clinicians using the service.
Wound care services account for a significant amount of NHS Wales’ annual budget, costing £330million, which is 6% of its total. Improperly assessing wounds can also lead to unnecessary follow up visits and outpatient appointments, causing capacity issues and delays for patients accessing services.
Healthy.io has developed a digital solution for wound assessment to help combat these pressures. The company’s Digital Wound Management Solution allows district nurses to travel to patients as part of regular check-ups and scan wounds with an app that can be integrated into existing software on smartphones and tablets, transforming a device’s camera into a lab-grade diagnostic scanner. These are then shared onto a secure digital portal that can be accessed by clinical staff to remotely assess and monitor wound progression over time, as well as providing digital consultation services.
This innovative solution prompts early detection of static wounds, allowing for earlier intervention and a reduction in unnecessary suffering. By using a digital wound management solution, clinicians are also able to bring patients in on their wound healing journey which, in other areas, has not only helped to engage patients in their care, but also had a positive effect on wellbeing. Healthy.io’s Digital Wound Management Solution also benefits clinical staff and healthcare services by reducing the administrative burden and streamlining work through a simplified and consistent recording and assessment process.
This proven technology is already well established in England, at trusts such as Livewell in the southwest. Swansea Bay University Health Board has joined these organisations that are helping drive better patient outcomes and improve health system efficiencies through digital transformation. Healthy.io delivered face-to-face training to onboard and engage with healthcare staff to ensure a two-way dialogue was established from the beginning.
Katherine Ward, Chief Commercial Officer and UK Managing Director of Healthy.io, said: “We are delighted to bring our Digital Wound Management Solution to the clinicians at Swansea Bay University Health Board, marking our first site in NHS Wales. Traditional wound care management is time and resource-intensive for clinicians as well as often challenging for patients. By making routine wound monitoring digital, we help already-burdened healthcare professionals make better clinical decisions and support patients in having their care managed closer to home”
Catrin Codd, Operational Lead for District Nursing Neath Port Talbot, Swansea Bay University Health Board, said: “Wound management is a large part of the District Nursing role. Using this app will allow our District Nursing Service to access the most up-to-date information and images of patients’ wounds, improving healing times and enhancing patient care, experience and wellbeing. We look forward to sharing these results with our Health Board colleagues.
“The District Nursing Service within Swansea Bay University Health Board are thrilled to be the first Health Board in Wales and the first service within the Health Board to be piloting Healthy.io’s Digital Wound Management Solution.”
Kate Coombs, Head of Programme Delivery at Life Sciences Hub Wales, said: “Digital Wound Management can help improve patient experience and inform treatment whilst working towards a more streamlined and consistent process for clinical staff and healthcare systems. We are delighted to have facilitated the initiation of the first pilot of this pioneering digital tool in Wales run by Healthy.io and Swansea Bay University Health Board.”