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Less Than 1 Percent of Nurses Are Wound Experts. This Telehealth App Helps Close That Gap

by Muriel Vega

Chronic wounds affect 6.5 million people in the U.S. every year, but only 1 out of every 500 nurses is board-certified in wounds. Moving patients from treatment facilities like nursing homes or hospice centers is also challenging, so wounds may be treated improperly or not at all. This gap in basic wound care, from bed sores to diabetic ulcers and ostomies, leads to an annual cost of $33 billion.

Corstrata is a telehealth app specifically geared toward wound care. It connects wound experts with the caregivers and nurses on-site at nursing homes, home health agencies, and hospice via video and imaging. The 100 percent virtual consultation allows the expert to view the size, color, and any other attributes of the wound in real-time through the app for help with diagnosis and treatment advice.

“Our services help the patient’s wound heal faster and with less pain,” says co-founder Katherine Piette. “As a result, the nursing home provides better care and gets higher quality scores and saves money by healing the wound faster using the appropriate wound supplies.”

Savannah, GA-based Corstrata has built a solid team that includes board-certified wound care nurses, two founding members of the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care, and an expert on the management of complex diabetes foot problems. They are currently licensed to serve patients in 29 states in the U.S. and plan to expand to all 50 in the near future.

Piette shares more about how Corstrata is tackling a critical problem in wound care, their main target audience, and how she sees this technology growing within the healthcare industry.

What’s your funding status?

We are bootstrapped to date. We’re seeking a seed round in late 2017 for $1.5M for further development of our software platform and to expand sales and marketing.

What’s your pitch? 

As U.S. healthcare transitions to value-based reimbursement, Corstrata’s solution is optimal for delivering efficacious care. With deep experience in the use of technology in post-acute care coupled with recent advances in technology, Corstrata uses leading-edge mobile, digital, and medical technologies to simply and readily connect with patients either directly or through their providers for access to scarce wound experts. Services include e-wound and e-ostomy consults, diabetic foot ulcer prevention, and complex wound management.

How does Corstrata help onsite nurses identify the wound and treat it?

Our solution is comprised of two Telehealth components – video and wound imaging. First, our board-certified wound clinicians use synchronous, bi-directional video not unlike Skype or Facetime, with a nurse caring for a patient in a nursing home. The bedside nurse uses of a HIPAA-compliant app, which can be accessed on any smart device to speak directly with our wound and ostomy experts. Benefits include properly identifying the type of wound, determining the most effective treatment plan, and monitoring of the progress of wound over time. We also use video to help triage issues with ostomy appliances.

Secondly, our app allows the nurse at the bedside to photograph the patient’s wound and send it to our wound expert. The technology automatically measures the length, width and area of the wound and corrects the color of the photo. The app reduces the amount of time it takes the bedside nurse to assess and measure a wound. Our nurse reviews the wound photo and accompanying documentation to identify the type of wound and recommend the proper treatment plan and wound dressing.

Who is the target audience for Corstrata and what kind of wound care do you specialize in? 

Corstrata’s core business centers on the management and prevention of complex chronic wound and on ostomies, a surgically-created opening in the body for discharge. Chronic wounds include pressure ulcers or bedsores, diabetic foot ulcers, and venous leg ulcers.

Corstrata has three target customers – two B2B customers: health care providers (home health agencies, hospices and nursing homes whose nursing staff doesn’t include a board-certified wound care nurse) and payers like Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicaid Managed Care, Commercial Insurance Companies, Self-funded Employers, Accountable Care Organizations. Then one B2C customer, those individuals with ostomies that need assistance with an ostomy-related issue

What are the benefits for providers to use Corstrata?

Providers like nursing homes many times do not have a board-certified wound nurse on staff. Most nurses and physical therapists do not have deep experience or knowledge of the latest evidence-based best treatments for wounds.By using our virtual wound care services, these providers are outsourcing their wound management to our experts at for far less costs than hiring a full-time wound care nurse. This ultimately, will allow more wound patients to benefit from the latest and best wound care.

Our wound nurses work virtually with the on-site nurses and physical therapists to assist them in properly identifying the type of wound and recommending the best plan to treat the wound along with the appropriate type of wound dressing.

What’s your revenue model?

The revenue model is reflective of the type of customer. Providers like nursing homes and home health agencies pay a monthly subscription fee. In the case of payers, they pay a per member/patient per month fee and in the direct to consumer/patient model, we charge a one-time e-consult fee.

How do you see telehealth growing within the health tech field?

Health technology is still experiencing exponential growth and I do not see that changing in the near term. Given the access and ability to collect and analyze large data feeds from Electronic Medical Records, claims data, wearable health sensors, etc., new iterations of healthcare software will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to drive prescriptive algorithms. Our software is following this same trajectory; we use the data we collect to refine our algorithms.


All photos provided by Corstrata.

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