Surgeon creates app to speed post-op recovery from knee procedures

A surgeon, who is also a start-up tech entrepreneur, has created an mHealth app aimed at helping patients be more informed about elective surgery recovery issues and having a quicker post-op recovery experience.

The My Recovery app, developed by orthopaedic surgeon Thomas Harte, helps patients take a proactive role in their care when recovering from procedures and strives to answer questions and quell concerns that arise in post-op scenarios, according to an article in Newsweek

The video-focused interactive software initially zeros in on knee surgery recovery. A hospital stay for a knee replacement shouldn't go beyond three days, but Harte says many patients are hospitalized for five to seven days, and a big reason is that they're not prepared to handle recovery at home. The app, he believes, can shorten the hospital time while also building a patient's confidence regarding post-op surgery activity.

Britain's biggest independent medical center, Wellington Hospital, is supporting a pilot study of the app.

"This one comes from doctors, you can see the clinical relevance," Wellington CEO Neil Buckley tells Newsweek. "They've done it in a very neat way. It's about giving patients more control of the process, and that helps us manage the process better."

The My Recovery app is the latest tech tool aiming to boost post-operative healing. Northwestern Medicine researchers are studying the use of a wearable fitness tracker for patients recuperating from spine surgery, and physicians believe the technology may lead to a universal recovery evaluation approach.

In addition, a recent study reveals mobile devices and apps that let post-surgical patients share data with physicians on healing and recovery show promise, with patients reporting high satisfaction using the mobile monitoring tool, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Research released late in 2014 notes that nearly half of American adults, 48 percent, are extremely interested in using smartphone and tablets for checking blood pressure, 47 percent are interested in tools that monitor their heartbeats and 23 percent are somewhat interested in using mHealth apps and devices.

Harte, and co-founder and fellow surgeon Axel Sylvan, hope the My Recovery app will help patients make better decisions that will reduce hospital re-admittance rates and speed recovery.

For more information:
- here's the Newsweek article

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