The Particulars: Anecdotal experience suggests that using smartphones to remotely monitor postoperative incisional wounds via digital photos may improve outcomes and promote patient-centered care. However, few studies have explored the impact of current smartphone capabilities and patient willingness to adopt the technology for this purpose.
Data Breakdown: A survey of elderly patients undergoing vascular surgery found that nearly 90% owned a smartphone or knew someone who could help them take and send photos with such a device. More than 90% reported that they would be willing to take photos of their wounds with a smartphone. Every survey respondent said they would be willing to answer questions regarding their health status via a smartphone. Potential barriers to adopting a smartphone wound protocol that were identified included logistics related to taking photos, health-related questions, and coordination with caretakers.
Take Home Pearls: Older surgical patients appear to be willing to adopt a smartphone-based postoperative wound monitoring program. Caregiver involvement appears to a crucial element in the success of this intervention.