The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Amputation Prevention
With the various technological advancements, amputation prevention through proper wound care is an attractive area for Artificial Intelligence (AI). In 2002, the whole world was in awe when Google brain, an Artificial Intelligence research team, could find a cat in a YouTube video. Now, we can deploy AI virtually everywhere and especially, in preventing lower limb loss.
The Lower Limb Amputation Epidemic
Approximately 185,000 amputations happen in the United States yearly. African‐Americans are up to four times more likely to have an amputation than white Americans. Many of these people unnecessarily lose their limbs in avoidable circumstances. Statistics show that up to 60% of the amputations happening yearly in the US are preventable.
The major cause for limb loss is Pulmonary Artery Disease (PAD) which causes poor blood circulation in the legs. PAD makes the feet vulnerable to wounds or ulcers that can quickly worsen if not treated early. More than 80% of amputations begin as foot ulcers. Without prompt care, these wounds cause severe damage to the tissues and bones necessitating amputation.
There’s a need for faster, less invasive wound healing solutions for lower limb amputation prevention. Artificial intelligence can enhance the abilities of podiatrists, vascular surgeons, and other wound care specialists.
Optimizing Treatment Plans for Healthcare Providers Using AI
Amputation prevention solutions such as AI will help the global wound care market garner approximately $30.5 billion in revenue by 2026 from $20 billion in 2020. Stakeholders are highly investing in tech and solutions that require little medical intervention and are helpful to both patients and healthcare providers.
Numerous methods can be used to quantify wound area. Many wound care specialists use manual ruler-based measurements which are plagued with high variability. Manual wound measurements can overestimate the true surface area by as much as 40%. This leads to data inconsistency making it hard to make accurate predictions for wound healing treatment and care.
Besides wound area, the percentage of healthy granulation tissue (PGT) in the wound bed is important to determine whether a wound will heal or require closure by skin graft or flap. Many doctors estimate the PGT visually based on color as an indication of healing. However, visual estimation is imprecise and subject to high inter-clinician inconsistencies.
Another challenge faced by many wound care specialists is the overload of new products and research studies. The market is flooded with many cellular, tissue-based, and other advanced wound dressing products. Choosing the right product from such a wide pool is a constant concern.
The Promise of AI in Amputation Prevention
AI has immense potential in amputation prevention by guiding treatments that improve patient prognosis. It does not entirely replace wound doctors. Instead, it helps them make fast and accurate wound diagnoses by indicating levels of protease, exudate, and bacterial burden. These three help determine the severity of a wound and its susceptibility to infections.
Clinicians need clear, quick, and precise wound analysis to guide best clinical practices. AI technologies are capable of performing wound annotations with proficiency similar to human wound care specialists. Strides made in the field are enabling automated analysis of diagnostic images which help wound doctors measure wounds more quickly and accurately leading to better patient outcomes.
Using AI to Make Future Predictions
Machine learning, a subset of AI, is the use of historical data to inform future decisions. With the information age, tech advancements allow us to collect, store, and analyze more ‘Big data’ which is used to train algorithms through deep learning and convolutional neural networks.
As the computer learns to look at different kinds of wounds it can eventually learn to offer real-time clinical decisions by providing wound treatment suggestions. AI is also useful in offering predictions for wound severity and healing time which is key for amputation prevention. Recent work shows that image analysis of granulation tissue can be used to predict healing outcomes for pressure ulcers.
AI Assisting Homecare for Patients
Artificial Intelligence is useful for the treatment of patients with chronic wounds. It gathers information from all in-person consultations done at home between the doctor’s visits. This is mostly preferred by patients in rural regions as they want to avoid the long commutes to wound care centers. AI offers continuous monitoring at patients’ homes allowing the doctor to do remote follow-ups with sufficient information.
Chronic non-healing wounds that lead to limb loss such as complications from diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease are highly linked to lifestyle. Most patients are advised to choose a healthier lifestyle to control the symptoms. When combined with wearable sensors, AI can be used to assess a patient’s day-to-day activities and the treatment plan given by the physician. This in turn will be used to provide relevant lifestyle suggestions and adjustments based on patient needs and habits.
Leveraging Technology in Wound Care
By bringing together professionals such as podiatrists, vascular surgeons, and wound care specialists, The Wound Docs is at the forefront of lower-limb amputation prevention among Blacks. The Wound Docs leverage the power of advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and advanced biologics (skin substitutes) to improve wound care outcomes for Black and African American patients.
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Foam Dressings: Benefits And Applications
Non-adhesive foam dressings require the use of an additional secondary dressing to be secured in position. In general, thin foam dressings have an adhesive wound contact layer.
Hydrogel Wound Dressings: Benefits And Applications
Hydrogel wound dressings belong to the class of modern wound dressings that actively stimulate the wound healing process. They are composed of synthetic polymers with a high water content formed in the shape of sheets, amorphous gels, and foams.
Alginate Wound Dressings: Benefits And Applications
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Understanding the Risk Factors for Pressure Ulcers
Pressure ulcers, also called bedsores or decubitus ulcers, are areas of localized damage to the skin and underlying tissue. They result from unrelieved pressure on the skin, friction, shear, or a combination of these.
The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Amputation Prevention
With the various technological advancements, amputation prevention through proper wound care is an attractive area for Artificial Intelligence (AI). In 2002, the whole world was in awe when Google brain, an Artificial Intelligence research team, could find a cat in a YouTube video.
The Role of Advanced Biologics (Skin Substitutes) in Wound Healing
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Know Better, Do Better: Adopting Healthy Lifestyles for Amputation Prevention
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Compression Therapy for Wound Management
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