Hull based company, Meddserve, and consultant dermatologist from the Spire Hull and East Riding Hospital, Dr Britton, have developed a pioneering online 'telewoundcare' solution which offers patients a quicker diagnosis and a structured care and skin treatment plan.
The system Medsystem Online, which has been developed by Meddserve, allows consultants to care for wounds remotely without having to meet patients face-to-face; freeing up their time for other things and saving health services around the world millions of pounds every year.
Woundcare is one of the highest costs to the NHS both misdiagnoses and incorrectly referred. It can take up a huge amount of nursing time and lead to infections, slow healing and in some cases admission to hospitals.
Wounds, especially among the elderly or diabetic patients, may be caused by a simple accident in the home such as catching their shin on a table corner, but can take a long time to heal and needs regular changes to dressings. If the correct dressing is not used then a wound can take years to heal in some cases.
Recognising this demand Meddserve and Dr James Britton have piloted an online health system which manages the care of wounds online; allowing nurses to carry out the consultation in patients' homes and send their reports to a specialist for diagnosis or treatment.
Using a computer and internet connection, practice nurses draw on a 3D body image the site of a wound and records important information such as past treatments used. Using a secure log in, the dermatologist specialist can then give a diagnosis and advice a bespoke treatment plan.
The system takes out the referral process to a dermatology department which could take anywhere up to 12 months; by which time the wound may have deteriorated or infection spread to other areas within the patient. It also allows the wound to be measured to the nearest mm treatment using the built in DICOM (digital imaging communication) viewer.
The system mirrors that of a full medical consultation, using standard symptom screens that are normally used by doctors. Being 'online' also means that this type of 'telehealth' consultation is available to any consultant who has access to the internet, wherever they are in the world.
Speaking about the technology, Dr Britton, said: "I can view a full history of a patient and see the images that I need zooming in and even drawing on the pictures to measure areas which is crucial to making the correct diagnosis and monitoring the success of treatment and patient progress. Working closely with general practices to tailor a treatment plan for each patient has certainly healed patients' wounds sooner."
Mr Arumugam technical director of Meddserve, added: "We have developed in house the most advanced medical imaging software to allow doctors to refer, view and interact with the images that are needed to make a diagnosis. This breaks down barriers to experts meaning a patient can be anywhere in the world and still get expert care. We have embedded voice technology so healthcare professionals can even leave voice messages for each other."
Dr Britton is using the technology with his patients at the Spire Hull and East Riding Hospital.
The technology, which uses the new media experience of Mark Spanton the director of design at Meddserve, is brand new to the healthcare world and offers a revolutionary solution; transforming the way heathcare data is stored and accessed by consultants and doctors around the world.
Meddserve is looking to roll the technology out as an intergrated service in hospitals around the world to provide a new way of delivering healthcare.