Remote care of lower extremities ulcers: An observational pilot study

Alexander Gamus*, Hanna Kaufman, Gabriel Chodick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Lower extremities ulcers (LEU) are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. With longer life expectancy, the prevalence of LEU in developed countries is assumed to grow, necessitating an increased demand for treatment by specialists. Objectives: To compare the effectiveness of a telemedicine video conferencing modality with the conventional face-to-face treatment of LEU. Methods: The study was conducted at a 2-million-member health organization in Israel (Maccabi Healthcare Services). Consecutive visits of patients to wound care specialists during a 12-month observational period in 2015 were reviewed. A nurse-assisted setting was implemented during all treatment sessions. The same specialist supervised patients in both modalities. Results: A sample of 111 patients (n=55 in the telemedicine group; n=56 in the face-to-face group) with 593 visits was analyzed. No significant difference in healing of LEU (78.2% in telemedicine vs. 75.0% in face-to-face) was detected, P = 0.823. A reduced number of visits in telemedicine (4.36 ± 2.36) compared to the face-to-face care (6.32 ± 4.17) was shown, P = 0.003. Non-inferiority of telemedicine demonstrated within the Δ = 15% range limits and 80% statistical power was demonstrated. Conclusions: Compared to the usual face-to-face method, synchronous video conferencing-based telemedicine may be a feasible and efficient method for LEU management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-268
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume21
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Foot and leg ulcer
  • Lower extremities ulcers (LEU)
  • Maccabi Healthcare Services
  • Synchronous telemedicine
  • Wound therapy

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