Patients aren't completing rehab following total knee replacements
Total knee replacement (TKR) is a procedure that has been rising steadily in recent years; statistics show a 77 per cent increase in surgeries in Australia from 2003 to 2014.
Due to factors such as the ageing population and increased obesity rates, this trend is likely to continue.
Studies have shown that rehabilitation exercises following TKR surgery can lead to faster recovery times, however many patients fail to implement an effective preparation or rehabilitation plan.
A digital platform to help patients manage their rehab, bridging communication gaps between clinicians and patients
Our scientists at the Australian e-Health Research Centre, together with Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Australia, have designed a digital platform to help patients prepare for and recover from total knee replacement surgery.
The innovative platform, 'Activate TKR', comprises a smartphone app, a wearable activity tracker and a clinician web portal.
The smartphone app provides patients with supportive information and mentoring on TKR surgery and preparation, including pre-surgery checklists, physiotherapy coaching, and reminders.
The app integrates with a wearable activity tracker which keeps track of daily steps, stairs and sleep, allowing patients to self-monitor their progress and stay engaged with the program.
Using the web portal, clinicians can configure individual physiotherapy programs and monitor patient progress remotely, enabling quality, targeted care.
Activate TKR provides flexibility in total knee replacement care delivery, particularly for patients living in remote rural areas or those with busy lifestyles.
Trialling the TKR platform in hospitals in NSW and QLD
Development of the digital platform was completed in 2016.
Since November of that same year, we've been trialling the platform with four hospitals in New South Wales and Queensland, targeting up to 150 patients undergoing TKR surgery.
The study will determine the efficacy of the platform in TKR patient rehabilitation, as well as its impact on the clinical care team.
This trial is an important step prior to introducing the health app to the market, where the use of innovative technology, combined with sound clinical research practices, will provide the best outcomes for patients, surgeons and hospitals.