Physicians network uses wireless IT to improve home-based care

By Kyle Hardy
10:28 AM
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The Wound Technology Network, a Hollywood, Fla.-based network of physicians, is using wireless services and mobile devices to provide better care to chronic wound patients in south Florida and southern California.

The WTN is using a tele-management center to help physicians diagnose and treat wound patients. Through the use of telemedicine, information technology and an evidence-based approach to care, officials said, the group looks to reduce the cost of care to patients and provide the same quality of care in the patient’s home.

The WTN is using wireless technology services from AT&T to equip clinical staff across south Florida and southern California with HTC FUZE smart mobile devices. WTN officials said physicians can teleconference with wound experts at WTN to better diagnose wounds and administer the appropriate treatment.

"We recognize that consistently delivering the highest quality wound care is difficult, but with the help of AT&T, we are able to deliver all the advantages of physician based services while we are treating patients in the comfort of their home," said George Pollack, WTN's chief technology officer. "Not only are our specialists able to deliver on-site quality care in real-time, they are able to aid in significantly minimizing the healing time of patients and the overall cost of their treatment."

WTN's clinical staff are using mobile devices to access iVisit, an application that creates video conferencing tools. Physicians in the field use the technology to speak live with a wound care specialist at the WTN’s telehealth center to help better diagnose a wound.

Physicians will also be able to use the HTC FUZE to take digital images for inclusion in an electronic medical record. WTN officials said once an image is uploaded, it can be faxed to another physician for further analysis and diagnosis.

In the past, said WTN officials, house-bound patients and those with chronic wounds relied heavily on transport services for access to treatment, which often led to delayed diagnoses, prolonged hospital visits and high treatment costs.