SAWC Spring 2019 – Top Trends
Three trends jumped out at us at this spring's Symposium for Advanced Wound Care in San Antonio, TX.
1. Biofilm is old news
Everyone now recognizes biofilm as a major factor preventing wounds from healing. No longer do people give you a blank stare when you suggest that what might be causing a wound to get stuck is biofilm. What's different now is that many researchers are working on models to better understand biofilm formation or are investigating new mechanisms to disrupt or prevent biofilm. And, of course, now every vendor suggests that their product will disrupt, dislodge or prevent biofilm. Caveat emptor.
2. Regenerative medicine is evolving
While the research may be inconclusive, people are as excited as ever about the promise of stem cells. Jumping into this mix is the "new" idea of exosomes. Exosomes are extracellular structures that are thought to induce the growth of new tissue. Time and, hopefully, several high-quality clinical trials, will tell us if this technology is worth the expense.
3. An app will predict your patient's wound outcome
Artificial intelligence, paired with high-resolution mobile phone cameras and low-cost cloud computing power, means that in the near future you'll be able to take a picture of a wound and, in real time, an app will interpret the wound type and underlying bioburden, predict the wound trajectory with a reasonably high level of confidence and will recommend an appropriate course of treatment.
What does this mean for you? Know your microbiology, beware of treatments with little to no evidence and keep an eye out for new technologies that might be able to help busy clinicians be more efficient day-to-day.