PATIENTS can recover from hand and feet operations more quickly thanks to the launch of a mobile app.
Patients having surgery to their hands, feet, hips or knees at Emersons Green NHS Treatment Centre can now benefit from the remodelled app that advises them on preparing for the operation and how to look after themselves afterwards.
Called Pocket Physio, the app is expected to benefit around 2,000 people attending the centre.
Lead physiotherapist Mini Jacob has worked with her team to completely revamp the app to add additional content that will help people undergoing operations for Dupuytren’s Contracture (a condition that makes the finger curl in towards the palm) or for those having forefoot surgeries or foot surgery for conditions such as subtalar.
Mini collaborated on the original app, which was launched in 2012, to show patients how to prepare for and recover from hip and knee surgery. Since its launch, the app has been downloaded by more than 70,000 people and it has received a 4.5 (out of five) star rating on iTunes and won the 2012 Laing and Buisson Health care award for Best use of technology in healthcare.
Mini said: “After an operation, patients may not take in all the information they are given. We have always demonstrated the exercises and given people drawings of how to carry them out.
“However, we know from our extensive and ongoing patient feedback that sometimes people find it hard to carry out exercises from a pictorial explanation.
“So we created the app which shows a person carrying out the exercise. Patients can either watch the demonstration and then complete the exercise or, when they know the exercises, can do it along with the video.”
The app also sets an alarm to notify patients when it is time to exercise so that they can start their programme as advised.
Pamela Mackie, hospital director at Emersons Green NHS Treatment Centre, said: “This adds another dimension to the vital follow-up support we offer our patients after their operations.
“It enables them to take charge of their recovery in their own homes, and with people leading increasingly busy lives these days, the combination of advice and reminders is invaluable.”
Pocket Physio is available to download for free on Google Play for Android devices and on the Apple iTunes store.