Bernard Ross, CEO of Sky Medical Technology, focuses on the role that medtech plays in reducing complications in wound care to improve healthcare and ultimately, drive healthier and more productive people.
Around 3.8 million people in the UK alone have ulcers according to the 2017-18 survey. Following the shutdown and closure of medical services during the COVID, which left many patients to manage their wounds on their own without regular help from health professionals, this number is expected to be much higher. This is not helped by the nature of some wounds that can be very difficult to treat, with some patients suffering from their wounds for years with little or no symptoms.
Leg ulcers are one of the most common types of chronic ulcers. Leg ulcers (VLUs) in particular are the most common type of leg ulcer, accounting for approximately 80% of all cases. VLUs are skin lesions that affect the gaiter region. They are caused by damage or blockage of the veins of the legs either due to trauma, deep thrombosis, varicose veins, or edema, blocking and preventing the return of blood to the heart. This leads to increased blood flow in the lower leg causing edema and ulcers.
Overburdening patients and health systems
Ulcers such as leg ulcers (VLUs) affect older generations more, as the population grows, so do the challenges of patient care. On a large scale the annual cost to the NHS is a staggering £8.3 billion of which £5.6 billion is the management of chronic wounds. VLUs represent £2 billion of this annual cost and affect 1 in 500 people.
Behind these statistics, however, are thousands of personal tragedies: wound patients living with chronic pain; people who cannot work because of their injuries; people who have to live powerless because of the burden of the culture and shame and shame.
The growing need for sustainable care
Treatment of wounds is a big and difficult task. It relies on a combination of visits to hospitals or clinics or home visits from nurses, adding to the complexity of providing wound care. Patients with venous leg ulcers will be referred to compression therapy as a standard of care to increase microcirculatory blood flow. This usually consists of a medically prescribed bandage or stockings.
Compression supports come in a variety of forms, including four-layer, two-layer, hosiery and wraps, depending on the level of compression required for optimal VLU healing, and patient preference. However, the treatment of compression is very difficult, which affects their ability to adhere adequately – and for some, due to the nature of their pain, they fail to be given first aid, receiving only a light bandage.
Innovation to drive ways to change lives
Innovations in medical technology are improving the delivery of care in all areas of healthcare. Medtech has the potential to revolutionize the way common but debilitating conditions are addressed, helping to drive healthier and more productive people. The deployment of medtech solutions, such as neuromuscular electrostimulation (NMES) devices has significant benefits. Patients can increase blood flow and when used in combination with multiple compressions, the rate of VLU healing is greatly increased.
Medtech can also speed up the healing rate of difficult-to-heal VLUs, and as a result, people need treatment for a shorter period of time, and wounds that heal quickly – theoretically – reduce the chance of infection. In addition, this means that nurses and trauma clinics can treat more people in less time and – most importantly – patients spend less time immobile, uncomfortable, and uncomfortable – which is good for their physical and mental health. This also has the added benefit of helping with saved healthcare costs.
Investing in a better future
With the number of people who are not working due to illness above 2.5 million, more and more information about medical problems but not life-threatening should be taken to help manage economic activities and ensure that the medical system is able to deal with medical problems. problems in profitable and cost-effective ways.
Thanks to the time and dedication of medical professionals, many innovations are being implemented in clinical practice that improve patient outcomes and improve health care, often with cost-cutting benefits. The use of medtech, such as NMES equipment, is a good example of how good technology can be done.