The Wound Care Universe- Three Parts, One Goal
Technology is driving advancement in all areas of the wound care industry.
Like the rest of the medical industry, the wound care market is advancing on all fronts. Technology is driving the industry to new treatments in healing wounds and new insights. In fact, the advanced wound care market is predicted to reach more than $22 billion by 2024, according to Data Bridge Market Research. This figure would be an increase from 2016’s approximately $11 billion.
Within the modern advanced wound care industry are three key components – biologics, therapy devices and dressings – that, together, are creating positive change. Let’s look at the three components:
Wound care biologics – also referred to as active wound care – has taken great leaps forward recently with the development of new technologies. Biologic wound care involves natural or synthetic dressings that most closely resemble those of human skin, according to a 2014 article that appeared in Advances in Wound Care. For this reason, it’s most often used to treat complex wounds such as burns, non healing wounds or those where there isn’t enough skin to complete a graft (it’s also used to treat diabetes-related foot ulcers and leg ulcers). During the 1990s, researchers made advances in synthetic materials that greatly expanded wound dressing possibilities. These advances include dressings classified as “living skin” which have the ability to augment and speed up the natural healing properties.
Negative pressure wound care therapy devices utilize a vacuum device and a sealed dressing to send a controlled application of sub-atmospheric pressure to the wound area and speed wound healing, stated HME Business. The vacuum is designed to increase blood flow to the wound site and deliver antibiotics while simultaneously drawing out used fluids. Dressings are generally changed several times a week. This approach is most often used to treat second- or third-degree burns, as well as chronic wounds. In addition, new research indicates the procedure might be beneficial for diabetic foot ulcers as well.
Dressings are wound care products that are essentials of the wound care industry and are used to treat all forms of wounds, based on the type, severity and location. More complex than mere bandages, dressings serve a number of key duties in the treatment of wounds including:
- Reducing the risk of infection.
- Encouraging wound clotting to help the wound heal.
- Absorbing excess fluids (blood, plasma, etc.).
Like other aspects of the advanced wound care industry, dressings are undergoing technological advances as well, such as bacteriophages dressings that contain microbials considered more effective against today’s antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Then, there are dressings and bandages infused with chitosan, a mineral derived from crab shells and believed to kill bacteria and heal wounds faster.