Doctors in UAE use iPads to treat wounds

UAE: The words ‘wound care’ and ‘patient safety issues’ no longer have to be linked, as technology is changing the way healthcare professionals manage and treat wounds.

Typically, we’re privy to seeing hospital-based doctors and nurses clad in gowns, masks and gloves try to assess and treat wounds, but with that come issues relating to patient safety.

There are rampant anti-bacterial resistant bugs that can infect such wounds, MRSA being one, and in some cases they can be deadly.

But over the past few months, Dr Raed Ahmed Farhat, Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Laser specialist at Al Qasimi and Kuwait Hospital in Sharjah (under the Ministry of Health) has treated 100 patients using a “remote wound management” approach.

“We treat moderate to severe cases using this specialised software. Since rolling out the project three months ago, I have treated 100 cases, 43 of which I assessed and given treatment instructions for while travelling around Europe. It’s a 24-7-365 service.”

This new wound management software from E-Kare uses a HIPAA-compliant platform – which is approved by the World Health Organisation – where the treating doctor can store the information of the patient, confidentially, to a secure cloud.

Using a single image 3D capture, the specialist doctor can then access the patient’s information remotely and decipher what treatment plan is needed.

The standard iPad and 3D infrared camera can measure the depth of the wound, and its complex algorithm allows the software to discern between health, necrotic and other types of tissue.

Currently using four devices across the Ministry of Health, the main of which is based at Al Qasimi hospital Sharjah, Dr Farhat said one device is being used at a hospital in Kalba, one in Khor Fakkan and the fourth at Umm Al Quwain hospital.

“Wound care is a huge issue for healthcare systems worldwide and causes a massive hidden cost. The MoH has sent these devices to remote areas so specialists can be on hand to offer treatment options to doctors there. This reduces cost, decreases the suffering of the patient because they can be treated quicker, and it opens better channels of communication between general doctors and specialist doctors.”

Wound care in a hospital setting carries with it huge problems. They are notorious for not healing well and require a great deal of hazardous intervention from staff.

“In the future it would be great to roll out this software across all Ministry of Health hospitals. It will greatly help patients in remote areas and at home. Nothing concrete has been decided on this as yet though,” Dr Farhat said. Courtesy Khaleej Times

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