Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust are trialling the use of cameras to remotely monitor diabetic patients with foot ulcers.
The necessary camera equipment has been rolled out across Derbyshire, in a bid to cut the amount of outpatient appointments that people who have diabetes are required to attend.
The service has been used to 40 patients since its launch in May. The process involves photographs being taken locally in facilities near to the patient’s home. These are then instantly saved on a server at The Royal Derby Hospital, allowing specialist doctors to assess the ulcer. If the ulcer requires treatment, the patient can be referred to hospital.
Fran Game, consultant diabetologist at Derby Teaching, explained that the technology means that patients need to travel less often for check-ups, while also easing the pressure on hospital consultants. Game has seen the number of referrals for foot ulcers rise 10% year on year, and sometimes sees up to 90 patients a day.
Explaining the impact that the technology has had, she said: “It means that we have the opportunity to release a little bit of capacity within the service, and we can spend a bit more time with patients when they’re here.”
Regular monitoring of foot ulcers is important as, if left untreated, they can lead to amputation.