Doctor AI, artificial intelligence in modern medical technology

Advanced AI Wound Care Network

Supporting AI enhancements for better & more equitable access to quality wound care.

Project Overview

Updated March 12, 2024

The Problem

Wound care is one of biggest challenges facing healthcare systems worldwide, with up to half of all care delivered in homes and communities involving a wound. In Canada, chronic wounds cost our health system over $4B annually—and in the United States, the annual Medicare cost alone is $100B.

Wound care is highly complex and most clinicians receive fewer than 10 hours of formal education in wound care, meaning the vast majority report “little to no” confidence in providing wound care. Standard practice for wound care measurement and assessment is often a paper ruler and cotton swab, leading to high clinical variability with a 44% error rate.

Healthcare education and wound care education and screening tools have also been historically developed for and from lighter skin tones, resulting in disproportionately poor outcomes for patients with darker skin tones. Diabetes wounds alone are the cause of 80% of major amputations in Indigenous populations due to limited accessibility and equity of remote wound care.

How We Are Solving It

Artificial intelligence (AI) provides a unique opportunity to support better and more equitable access to quality wound care. Through adoption of AI-powered wound care applications, clinicians can collect objective, unbiased wound data in an instant; be supported in making more appropriate, autonomous treatment decisions in real-time; and high-risk patients can be flagged to enable early intervention and prevent complications.

Led by Swift Medical in partnership with Brightshores Health System, the University of Northern British Columbia’s (UNBC) Centre for Technology Adoption for Aging in the North, Giishkaandago’lkwe Health Services and the National Research Council of Canada: this project will focus on the adoption, evaluation and commercialization of Swift Medical’s AI-powered wound assessment, decision support and predictive care technologies.

Initially advanced through the Telewound Care Canada project, this new initiative will aim to accelerate global commercialization of its initial solution by integrating three AI-powered technologies into Swift Medical’s existing digital wound care platform. Their clinical, operational and financial benefits will be validated with the project consortium partners to scale across home health, long-term care, hospital and payer markets in rural, Indigenous and urban communities.

  1. SmartTissue will use AI to identify wound tissue types used to determine if a wound is improving or deteriorating, decreasing the highly subjective and challenging task of tissue typing, reducing the time clinicians spend documenting and increasing objective evaluation of wound progress.
  2. AutoDepth will capture multiple smartphone images and use AI to create a 3D model of the wound and measure visible depth. Automating the depth measurement removes the variability caused by clinicians’ manual measurements and eliminates pain for the patient.
  3. HealingIndex will use AI to review objective AI inputs regarding the size, tissue types and clinical documentation captured by the clinical to identify risk of non-healing wounds.

This project stands to demonstrate how Canadian leadership in AI decision support can enable better patient outcomes, more cost-conscious resource utilization and enhanced health system capacity to increase access and equity both at home and around the world.

Project Lead

  • Swift Medical

Project Partners

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  • unbc@2x e1633470899741
  • NRC