When patients don’t heal from their wounds, it leaves them open to infections and permanent physical damage. If wounds don’t progress through the normal healing phases for over a month, they’re called chronic wounds, and this condition costs healthcare systems billions annually.
A wound like this requires constant monitoring and care, and it can place a significant burden on a patient’s quality of life. If a chronic wound isn’t managed carefully, it can even result in amputation or death.
According to Swift Medical CEO Carlo Perez, there are more patients suffering from chronic wounds worldwide than from lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and leukemia combined. Because there’s no universal remedy available, like a pill or a cream, gaining a detailed and personalized understanding of each situation is essential. Effective tools to document and visualize the healing process in response to treatment would help more patients recover.
Swift Medical is a global leader in chronic wound care management software, providing advanced wound visualization and touchless 3D measurement via the Swift Skin and Wound app. The technology improves the workflow of clinicians through its efficient solution for monitoring, analyzing, and documenting the progress of a wound.
Clinicians must consider many factors when managing chronic wounds, such as evidence of an infection, inflammation, the presence of foreign bodies, and understanding what caused the wound. Swift Medical’s app allows them to unify all the details in one convenient place.
For patients, the improved monitoring can act as a motivation to stick with the long treatment process. Moreover, the app allows them to remotely relay updates to their healthcare team through their phones — a valuable benefit under COVID-19 restrictions.
The Toronto-based company aims to expand the reach of their product to as many bedsides at as many healthcare facilities as possible globally. So far, the technology has been adopted by over 1,000 healthcare facilities catering to more than 100,000 beds across North America.
“By augmenting the abilities of clinicians and facility administrators to deliver the best possible wound care management, we’re helping them heal over 10,000 patients a month… and we’re just getting started,” said Perez to BetaKit.
Swift Skin and Wound
The Swift Skin and Wound platform is a machine-vision-enabled mobile app that allows medical professionals like nurses and dermatologists to snap a picture of a patient’s wound, calculate the size, and track its development over time.
Wound measurement is usually performed using a ruler, and since wounds come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and locations, there’s a great deal of variation in how they are measured. This can lead to inaccuracies, which has a negative knock-on effect on the treatment process.
Swift Medical’s app helps clinicians to consistently measure the wound’s surface area every time they make an assessment, eliminating the issue of inaccuracies. Beside each image in the app there’s documentation of the assessment which is automatically integrated with the patient’s digital health record.
The onboard prognostic tools can assist users by automatically categorizing the type of wound and describing what the outlook is timewise until full healing. The app can also advise clinicians regarding special details to watch out for while managing niche wound types.
Helping patients to stay motivated — remotely
Noncompliance is a big problem with chronic ailments in general, and the associated healthcare costs may be in the billions. Clinicians can use Swift’s app to show patients progress over time which helps to keep them motivated with the doctor’s directions. If they can see the wound healing slowly but surely, they’ll be more likely to stay off their feet or avoid activities that aggravate the wound.
The app has also proven useful during the COVID-19 crisis by acting as a safe solution to chronic wound care that complies with social distancing measures. Patients can’t come into clinics for care as easily as before, so there are wounds going untreated; without proper wound care management, the area might become infected which can degrade further into amputations and even lead to death.
With the app, the isolated patient can regularly take pictures of the wound and send them to their doctor who can then make informed decisions and maintain the same standard of care. Through this opportunity, Swift Medical has repositioned its app as a telehealth tool, an alternative type of healthcare solution that’s becoming increasingly popular in health systems around the world.
This is particularly beneficial for the elderly, who are at higher risk of severe complications due to COVID-19 and would be able to minimize trips outside the home with remote monitoring. Even outside of the pandemic this would continue to be useful, since elderly people are more likely to suffer from mobility issues and similar problems that leave them largely housebound, and improved monitoring would help.
“Swift’s product execution is a wonderful example of… pushing compute [sic] intelligence closer to the patient, but in a way that is empathetic to the patient and the caregivers and systems that surround them,” said Scott Barclay, a partner at Data Collective, in a press release.
“We invested because of Swift’s near science-fiction quality machine vision, Carlo’s leadership, and because Swift enables wound care quality that all of us should demand for a loved one.”