1. What is the innovation?
Wound Innovations – a new innovation providing relief for chronic wound patients nation-wide
2. What benefits does the innovation bring?
Nearly half a million Australians are suffering with chronic wounds at any time. Chronic wounds are those wounds such as leg ulcers that do not heal after 4-6 weeks.
To get treatment, they have to navigate a complicated, fragmented system where not all health professionals use best practice to get their wounds treated.
For many wound sufferers, the major barrier to receiving best practice treatment is – simply – access, and awareness that the help is available. Whether they live in a remote area, a residential care facility, or even have mobility restrictions, the most vulnerable people are often the most at need.
Wound Innovations: A team of inter-disciplinary specialists that patients and health providers from anywhere in the country can access.
Wound Innovations is a spin-off company of the Wound Management Innovation CRC (Wound CRC) through the support of the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
The service practices optimal patient care derived from the research of the CRC and its partners. This research has shown that for people with chronic wounds to be successfully treated, an inter-disciplinary team approach is required. Chronic wounds do not respond to solo practitioner care due to the many underlying chronic health conditions requiring specialist care.
It is the model of care that makes this service so groundbreaking – it solves the problem of patient access to best practice care in two very innovative ways.
Firstly, the patient attends one site (at the clinic in Spring Hill or nationally via telehealth) where the entire clinical specialist team is involved in appointments (in collaboration with the patient’s current health care provider such as their GP).
Secondly, the latest innovations in research-based treatment are utilised.
3. What commercial success and/or benefit to society has it achieved?
The service has already had positive impact on the lives of patients. Since the service’s open in March 2017, 94.5% of all patients with healable wounds reported a improvement in their wound/s. In February 2018, 90% of patients experienced a wound reduction. One patient, Edna (78 years old), presented to the clinic in 2017 with a 12 month history of undiagnosed, non-healing ulcers on both legs, complicated by heart failure and oedema (swelling). The team initiated an extensive investigation, established a diagnosis and initiated an evidence-based treatment plan. The high levels of pain, odour and leakage from her wounds caused emotional distress and she did not want to participate in activities. Within weeks of treatment, the ulcers begun to reduce in size and by the 6 month mark, they had reduced by 99.8%. Edna now manages her wounds at home, and is enjoying being pain-free and active. Edna is just one of hundreds of patients with a similar story of what can be achieved with this innovative model of care.
4. How many new jobs has this innovation created?