Background Burn injuries are a leading cause of premature death worldwide and are largely attributable to poor living conditions. Timely care is a prerequisite to reduce morbidity and mortality and it can be significantly improved by smartphone-based consultation systems. The overall aim of this project is to assess how an mHealth system for acute burn injury care can impact on the delivery of emergency care for burns victims in terms of clinical management.
Methods The clinical quality includes assessments of diagnostic accuracy and patient management. Bedside diagnosis or image based diagnosis by burns experts will be used as gold standard. Technology Usability Evaluation Model will be used to assess how the users experience the system.
Results A tele-consultation system for acute burn care is currently under implementation in the Western Cape, South Africa. An application (app) is installed on a smartphone located in each of the emergency services of 8 hospitals to transmit visual and textual information between emergency staff at point of care and a network of burns specialists. A stepwise implementation of the system will start in Tanzania in the beginning of 2016. The burn specialists already involved in South Africa will act as experts for Tanzania. The evaluation will build on an evaluation already started in South Africa. The first part of the evaluation will include the hospitals currently using the mHealth system in the Western Cape, South Africa and 2–3 hospitals in Tanzania. The mHealth system and results of the evaluation will be presented at the conference.
Conclusions Low cost and timely alternatives to burn injury control are a pressing need in many low- and middle-income settings and countries. This project is a determinant step in that direction and can lead to the implementation of a viable, inclusive, and environment friendly mHealth system.
- Burn injuries
- diagnose support