Patients in the North West are to benefit from a new app that measures the size of a wound and charts progress.
Community staff will be able to use a smartphone to photograph a wound to accurately measure its size and any changes over time.
Following trials in Rochdale, the Northern Care Alliance (combining Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust) is rolling out the new technology across Greater Manchester.
By having more accurate measurements health care staff can offer better advice about treatment.
They will be able to share the photo with other team members which should also enhance the clinical decision-making process.
The app will eventually reduce the volume of wound care work by nurses by up to one week per patient.
“The cost to the NHS of chronic wounds equals that of cancer.” Victoria Thorne, Divisional Director of Nursing
The app works by uploading information to a secure NHS portal and into the electronic patient record.
Sharon Hollister, Assistant Director of Nursing for Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Adult Community Services, said: “This is really exciting new technology which promises to standardise both the assessment and treatment of would care.
“And in the future, using the new Greater Manchester Digital Platform, we will also be able to share progress, photos and treatment plans with colleagues involved in the patient’s care so that everyone knows what treatment is recommended and what decisions have been made, instantly.”
Victoria Thorne, Divisional Director of Nursing and Therapies for Heywood Middleton and Rochdale Division of Integrated Care, added: “This project promises to be transformational in the way we manage people with wounds across Greater Manchester.
“By cleverly turning a smartphone into a digital wound assessment tool to scan and measure wounds and then transmit this information into the patient record, we could be potentially helping thousands of people across Greater Manchester.
“Reducing healing time for patients is vital to improving patient outcomes and this app could also reduce the need for people to come into hospital when wounds become critical.”