A new smartphone app called “WoundCare” is successfully letting patients send images of their surgical wounds to nurses for monitoring, this study finds.
The goal of the app, developed by researchers from the Wisconsin Institute of Surgical Outcomes Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison, is earlier detection of surgical site infections (SSIs) and prevention of hospital readmissions.
Of 40 vascular surgery patients enrolled in the study and trained to use the app, 45% submitted data every day for 2 weeks, for an overall submission rate of 90.2%. Submissions were reviewed within an average of 9.7 hours, and 91.9% were reviewed within 24 hours.
The researchers detected 7 wound complications with 1 false negative. Patient and provider satisfaction was high.
Preliminary results of the mobile health program indicate the ability to detect and intervene on wound complications, the researchers conclude.
Surgical site infection (SSI) is the most common nosocomial infection and the leading
cause of readmission among surgical patients. Many SSIs develop in the postdischarge
period and are inadequately recognized by patients. To address this, we developed
a mobile health protocol of remote wound monitoring using smartphone technology. The
current study aims to establish its feasibility among patients and providers.