For a study, researchers sought to review the literature on telehealth wound care and evaluate clinical, healthcare usage, and cost results when wound care is delivered via telehealth (telewound) modalities vs. in-person treatment. The following MeSH search phrases were used to search the PubMed, CINAHL, and Cochrane Clinical Trials databases for publications published between 1999 and 2019: telewound, wound, wound care, remote care, telehealth, telemedicine, eHealth, mobile health, pressure injury, and ulcer.
Articles were included if they were a scientific report of single research that examined a telehealth approach, indicated the kind of wound under consideration, and provided data on clinical, healthcare use, or cost outcomes of telewound care. These criteria were satisfied by 26 articles in total. Data were retrieved and organized into 13 categories, including research design, wound type, telehealth medium, therapy intervention, and outcomes monitored.
Nineteen of the 26 studies reported on clinical outcomes, such as total healing and healing time; 17 studies reported on healthcare use, such as hospitalizations and length of stay; and 12 studies reported on expenses.
The evidence for the use of telewound care is limited, and data on the influence of telewound care on outcomes are conflicting but suggest that it is not inferior to in-person treatment. The increased usage of telemedicine due to the COVID-19 epidemic suggested the future development of telehealth navigation and education models for wound care. However, further studies with rigorous research designs and large sample numbers are required to establish benefits.