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Swift Medical, the global leader in digital wound care, recently announced the launch of Swift Scientific, an innovative new digital imaging platform to support medical researchers conducting decentralized clinical trials. Swift Scientific’s launch also marks Swift Medical’s entry into the clinical trial market, enabling the company to take on this growing $44 billion market.
Digital wound care still sounds like it would belong in a SciFi movie, doesn’t it? Well, the truth is that the healthcare industry has been introducing AI into various systems for some time.
What is the ultimate goal of technology in healthcare?
Whether it is supposed to cure all diseases and maybe allow us to live for hundreds of years or simply to provide better care, thus ensuring we live longer, better lives, technology might be the key to a better survival rate when we have to fight life-threatening diseases. It’s no surprise, therefore, that technologists are dedicating time and financial resources to develop the very best technology to facilitate healthcare. More hospitals and healthcare practices are using software that integrates across different departments and locations. This way, healthcare professionals can administer better care far more quickly than the previously fragmented systems made possible.
Using technology comes with its own set of risks, though.
The Canadian and European radiology societies have called for additional guidelines on the ethical use of artificial intelligence in imaging since 2019.
A joint statement published by the Journal of the American College of Radiology claims that although AI ‘has the potential to substantially improve radiology, help patients, and decrease cost’ it is also ‘complex and carries potential pitfalls and inherent biases’.
The statement notes that “widespread use of AI-based intelligent and autonomous systems in radiology can increase the risk of systemic errors with high consequence and highlights complex ethical and societal issues”, the main reason being the lack of experience in this new field, which professionals admitted to.
“Currently, there is little experience using AI for patient care in all its demanding and diverse settings.”
The report adds that the use of AI without a clear code of ethics has the potential to increase errors and worsen health disparities.
Meanwhile, healthcare and IT professionals have been working together to improve outcomes of using AI in imaging and related fields. Swift Medical’s core product, Swift Skin, and Wound, is an AI-powered, digital wound platform that allows any patient or clinician to easily capture high-precision images of the skin or wound conditions with any smartphone camera. Swift Skin and Wound autonomously determine clinical characteristics, tracks disease progression, enables remote communication, and securely share patient data in real-time. Swift Medical’s technology is used by more than 4,000 healthcare organizations internationally, including health systems and providers across the continuum, academic institutions, research organizations, and pharmaceutical companies.
Swift Scientific produces 3D-generated models, enables automated region-of-interest detection, and calculates precise, clinically validated measurements that eliminate data variability. Study coordinators can continuously monitor the effects of new medications or interventions on participants from any location; and with real-time reports and analytics, investigators can easily identify and analyze trends for each subject and study.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impeded clinical trials – making participant recruitment, monitoring, and retention more difficult, which has resulted in more expensive, delayed, and sometimes canceled clinical trials. With the implementation of public safety measures, participant access to trial sites was reduced by up to 80% at the onset of the pandemic. Further, as 70% of potential trial participants live over two hours from a trial site, remote clinical trials are vital to improving accessibility and equitability, especially for low-income, rural, and physically impaired participants – which, in turn, will increase diversity in trial populations and efficacy of new clinical interventions.
As the need to analyze skin conditions during medical research is critical to many studies, Swift Medical is able to support clinical trials across multiple sites, whether in the clinic or the participant’s home, without the need for expensive equipment or extended travel.
Swift Scientific is a purpose-built tool that enables efficient and cost-effective decentralized clinical trials by allowing researchers to analyze skin and wound conditions imaged with any smartphone, from any location.
“Organizations conducting and managing clinical trials are facing unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic, yet their research is needed now more than ever. We’ve already proven that the Swift Medical platform is a trusted solution for producing clinical-quality images, but now we see an opportunity to help researchers develop life-saving treatments in a faster, more efficient manner,” said Carlo Perez, co-founder, and CEO of Swift Medical. “Even after the pandemic, decentralized clinical trials represent the future for medical research, enabling applications like Swift Scientific to power the next generation of data analysis and scientific discovery.”
Some of the largest pharmaceutical companies and clinical research organizations in the world are already using Swift Medical’s technology across more than 50 sites in North America and Europe.
Swift Medical is the world leader in digital wound care. Their technology is used by over 4,000 healthcare organizations across the continuum of care to improve the prevention, treatment and management of wounds.