‘Surgical selfie’ for early detection of infections: study

TORONTO – A new study shows that the simple act of taking a picture of a wound after surgery on a mobile phone can be a tool for early detection of infections and minimizing post-operative complications.

The idea is known as ‘surgery selfies’, and a study from the University of Edinburgh published in the journal npc Digital Medicine on Thursday found that they are linked to less frequent visits to doctors. doctors and improve advice from doctors to patients.

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been major changes in post-operative care. Patients and staff are used to remote consultations, and we have demonstrated that we can effectively and safely monitor postoperative wounds while patients recover at home,” said Dr. Kenneth McLean, a clinical researcher at the University of Edinburgh and co-leader of the study, said in a press release. “This could become the new normal.”

According to the publication, the third leading cause of death globally is death occurring within 30 days of surgery.

For the study, researchers recruited adults who had undergone abdominal surgery at two tertiary hospitals between July 2016 and March 2020. Of the 429 patients, 269 received postoperative care. periodically, while 223 people also have access to a “wound assessment tool” through a smartphone.

All the patients then reported symptoms on the third, seventh, and 15th days after surgery, while the patient using a smartphone sent pictures of the wound on those days.

The key thing that doctors look for is the timing of a diagnosis of a surgical site infection (SSI).

Between the control group and those who took an intraoperative selfie, there was no significant difference in the number of people who developed SSI, with 8.3% of the entire group developing the condition.

In addition, the smartphone group was 3.7 times more likely to receive an SSI diagnosis within a week of being active.

There was also a significant difference in health care usage between the two groups, with patients from the smartphone group accessing community care much less. Patients using smartphone tools also report easier access to care in terms of waiting times and easier access to good advice from doctors.

The researchers admit that while they didn’t get accurate results on whether this actually improves the time to diagnosis, the study does show that smartphone use of fingerprint imaging does. Post-operative injuries can help with routine care for patients and reduce the burden on health care. system by cutting down on checks.

“In particular, this tool has demonstrated a high ability to discriminate against negative predictors, meaning that SSI can be excluded with confidence,” the study explains.

“Our study demonstrates the benefits of using mobile technology for post-operative monitoring,” Ewen Harrison, professor at the University of Edinburgh and study leader, said in a statement. “The use of mobile apps during surgery is becoming commonplace – we are working to scale this up in the NHS, benefiting patients in continuing to be connected. directly connected to the group of hospitals that are treating them.”


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