On August 6, The Digital Technology Supercluster (the “Supercluster”) announced the completion of its $60 million investment in the COVID-19 program. The aim of the Supercluster is to invest in innovative solutions that support Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Swift Medical is proud to be the lead member of Virtual Wound Care Canada, one of 17 projects that has been awarded funding to address the challenges presented by COVID-19. With over $2.5 million in funding, this project will provide patients who are isolated with access to vital remote wound care experts and resources.
In Canada, 30-50% of all health care involves a wound. Without regular care, these patients can face infections that drive hospitalization, amputation, and even death. The elderly population at the greatest risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus is the same population at the highest risk for developing wounds. Today, many of these vulnerable wound patients are under quarantine or in isolation, and without access to the vital wound care they need. If this care is postponed or improperly delivered, it makes it 20 times more likely for a patient to end up in hospital and 10-40 times more likely to need an amputation.
While many health care organizations have adopted virtual care solutions to reach patients during COVID-19, the telehealth solutions used to support most remote health care services are inadequate for wound care. These solutions lack the high resolution, scientifically calibrated images, sub-millimeter accuracy and proper lighting/environmental adjustments that are critical to remotely assessing and treating wounds.
The Virtual Wound Care Canada project is developing and deploying a technology solution that will allow patients to access wound care from their own home and community, without having to risk exposure to COVID-19. Led by Swift Medical, the project brings together SE Health, AlayaCare and several other health care systems and academic institutions in Canada.
With this innovative solution, patients can take a picture of their wound with a mobile application, share it with their health care provider and conduct a virtual consultation. Their provider will be able to remotely review the medical-grade wound images and gain visibility into patient healing rates, risks, and needs – alerting providers to new and worsening wounds to support predictive and proactive care. This keeps these patients out of hospitals, reducing the strain on the healthcare system and improving patient outcomes.
This technology will not only benefit patients during the pandemic, but far beyond as telehealth has helped fill a gap in our healthcare system. Virtual care keeps our vulnerable population safe and can help provide remote communities and individuals with previously scarce or nonexistent access to experts.
To read the full project details for Virtual Wound Care Canada, click here.