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A Practitioner’s View on the Concept of Aging

Tracey Rickards, BN, RN, MN, PhD Chris Boodo, MIMOSA Diagnostics In this interview, Dr. Tracey Rickards and Chris Boodo discuss the concept of aging in wound care as well as the benefits remote patient monitoring offer to facilitate care to aging populations that may struggle to see care, such as immobile patients and those who live in rural areas.

A Practitioner's View: What is the Concept of Aging in Place? from HMP on Vimeo.


Dr. Tracey Rickards: My name is Dr. Tracey Rickards and I'm an associate faculty member with the Faculty of Nursing at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. And I'm the PI on this program, on this project about supporting seniors to age in place.

Chris Boodoo: My name's Chris Boodoo, Head of Clinical Affairs at MIMOSA Diagnostics, and I lead all the clinical studies that we run at the company as well as leading the dissemination of that evidence.

What is the concept of aging in place from a wound care lens?

Dr. Tracey Rickards: Well, there are kind of 2 different focuses, but the idea of aging in place is to, as people age, they're more frail. They're a little bit more at risk for falls or for social isolation, for not getting the right food. And especially in our province, we have a lot of rural seniors. So the aging in place idea is that we want them to be able to stay at home in their own home where they're comfortable and familiar for as long as possible. So whatever supports they need from the social support systems or from nurses or other clinicians, that's what we would do. So the fact that the nurses are making visits to the person's home and monitoring wounds on a regular basis is part of the idea of prevention and making it possible for seniors who don't have appropriate transportation to be able to access the care that they need.

Chris Boodoo: Speaking to the wound care piece, it's almost a visceral reaction when you hear about someone who has a wound and they need to actually take themselves to an outpatient setting or a clinic. I think that the work that Tracey's groups, Dr. Rickards group's doing is really taking the care to the individual. Think about it, a wound is that you don't want that person moving around. You want them to be in place and be able to receive the care that they need without compromising anything else, especially if they are older, more frail.

How can remote patient monitoring serve at risk senior populations?

Chris Boodoo: Remote patient monitoring is another channel for this population to receive the health care that they deserve. I think a lot of times this is a underrepresented population, so having the mechanisms in place to enable access to care via the technologies that we have around us. I mean, we see that technology flourishes in every other industry, but in health care it seems to lack a bit. So any way we can try to push that forward and again, really leverage the strengths of the connectiveness that we've built as a society to then translate into delivering health care to seniors who want to age in place and to really, again, support the healthy aging in place. I think it's a big opportunity, but also a large need for this population.

How has the availability of images from patients’ homes allowed clinicians to deliver better care?

Dr. Tracey Rickards: I think it was actually something that Chris was talking about, but the images that the nurses have been taking of the participant's feet are uploaded to a central repository where the lead medical director of MIMOSA Diagnostics has an opportunity to look at them and see sequentially over time whether the feet are getting better or getting worse. And she can then alert us too if she sees something that she, as a plastic surgeon has maybe a bit more acute eye and is going to say, "Why don't you just double check on this person?" So that's really what the benefit of that is. And I think the other thing about it being a remote usage is that, for what we found anyway, is many of our seniors have real transportation issues, and if they have problems with their feet, they have mobility issues. So they have multiple reasons why it's harder for them to access care. So this just makes it that much easier for them. 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, HMP Global, its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.