(Image via LinkedIn/Kevin Keenahan)
While many eyes are rightly on hospitals treating patients with COVID-19, there are still patients with immediate needs who need other kinds of care within the healthcare system. And with social distancing measures in place, that means changing up approaches to ensure care for high-risk populations.
One example comes from Baltimore digital health company Tissue Analytics. The Inner Harbor-based company has a mobile app that’s used by clinicians to image and monitor chronic wounds. Cofounders Kevin Keenahan and Josh Budman identified how digital tools could make a difference in wound care while completing master’s degrees at Johns Hopkins’ Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design.
They developed an app that uses computer vision to analyze the wounds. The data then goes back into the doctor or nurse’s records, and they have access to a portal inside electronic medical records systems that allows them to track progress and plan care.
Building a base in Baltimore with 16 employees and a second office in Kansas City, the company has continued to develop new functions, such as 3D imaging that rolled out in 2018.
About a year ago, Keenahan said they also began work with one healthcare institution on a feature to allow remote patient monitoring. This would mark a shift, as the company’s app is currently used by clinicians in outpatient settings.
It hadn’t previously rolled out widely, but with healthcare centers implementing social distancing measures (like everyone else) to stop the spread of COVID-19, Tissue Analytics is now offering the feature widely, and at no additional charge.
With the app for patients, Keenahan said the company is looking to ensure the safety of patients who are at-risk and have chronic wounds that need to be treated, but go to the clinic.
“Now providers can basically enroll patients to send in the data remotely, whereas before the data collection would have to happen in the clinic,” Keenahan said.
With the company’s technology, patients get a push alert. They are then prompted to send a snapshot of the wound, and answer a short survey. Then, the nurses or doctors get the data and it can be reviewed by the clinicians asynchronously.
It’s a sign of how telemedicine is moving to the front of the line, as the shift to digital tools can help folks stay connected at a time when staying home is a primary healthcare procedure.
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