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Cover of Personal Wireless Device Use for Wound Care Consultation: A Review of Safety, Clinical Benefits and Guidelines

Personal Wireless Device Use for Wound Care Consultation: A Review of Safety, Clinical Benefits and Guidelines

Rapid Response Report: Summary with Critical Appraisal

Wounds may result from physical, mechanical, or thermal damage, or develop from an underlying medical disorder and include conditions such as pressure ulcers, lacerations, burns, arterial or venous ulcers, and dermatological disorders. Wound care involves accurate assessment and appropriate management strategies and may require specialist consultations which may not always be easily accessible or may be time consuming. Telemedicine offers an alternative option. It is the delivery of health care through telecommunication between the patient with or without the local health care provider and remotely situated specialists. Technology used for telemedicine can range from a simple telephone conversation with the health care provider to complex systems with elaborate consultations with remote specialists at various locations, through live audio or videoconferencing. Telemedicine has been used in various clinical areas such as psychiatry, ophthalmology, and dermatology. Teledermatology consultation has been shown to be reliable and comparable to conventional clinic-based care. Imaging of the wound, uploading images and transferring them to the appropriate location play an important role in wound care involving telemedicine. The advent of high resolution digital cameras, computer technology, and specialized software has revolutionized the process of documentation of wounds. In recent times, personal wireless devices such as mobile phones are increasingly being used as a telemedicine technology. Mobile phones now have in-built cameras and data transfer capabilities and are often referred to as smartphones. The transmission of medical images and other data over mobile phone networks may facilitate remote medical consultations with specialists and enhance wound care management. However the safety and clinical efficacy of this modality of care needs to be assessed before it may be put in to widespread use.

The purpose of this report is to review the available evidence on the clinical benefits and safety of personal wireless devices for wound care consultation and guidelines on the use these devices for wound care consultation.

Disclaimer: The Rapid Response Service is an information service for those involved in planning and providing health care in Canada. Rapid responses are based on a limited literature search and are not comprehensive, systematic reviews. The intent is to provide a list of sources of the best evidence on the topic that CADTH could identify using all reasonable efforts within the time allowed. Rapid responses should be considered along with other types of information and health care considerations. The information included in this response is not intended to replace professional medical advice, nor should it be construed as a recommendation for or against the use of a particular health technology. Readers are also cautioned that a lack of good quality evidence does not necessarily mean a lack of effectiveness particularly in the case of new and emerging health technologies, for which little information can be found, but which may in future prove to be effective. While CADTH has taken care in the preparation of the report to ensure that its contents are accurate, complete and up to date, CADTH does not make any guarantee to that effect. CADTH is not liable for any loss or damages resulting from use of the information in the report.

Copyright © 2014 Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health.

Copyright: This report contains CADTH copyright material and may contain material in which a third party owns copyright. This report may be used for the purposes of research or private study only. It may not be copied, posted on a web site, redistributed by email or stored on an electronic system without the prior written permission of CADTH or applicable copyright owner.

Links: This report may contain links to other information available on the websites of third parties on the Internet. CADTH does not have control over the content of such sites. Use of third party sites is governed by the owners’ own terms and conditions.

Except where otherwise noted, this work is distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND), a copy of which is available at

Bookshelf ID: NBK263364PMID: 25521002


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