CHICAGO – Use of a mobile app for breast reconstruction patients resulted in fewer post-surgery follow-up appointments, according to a study recently published in JAMA Surgery.
“Mobile app follow-up care affects neither complication rates nor patient-reported satisfaction scores, but it improves patient-reported convenience scores,” said the authors of the study.
The study included 65 women with an average age of 47, who were ambulatory patients undergoing breast reconstruction at an academic ambulatory care hospital. Patients were randomly assigned to receive follow-up care through a mobile app or at an in-person visit during the first 30 days after the operation.
The mobile app group included 32 women, and the in-person follow-up group included 33 women.
Those in the mobile app group attended an average of 0.66 in-person visits, compared to 1.64 from the in-person group. The mobile app group also sent more emails to their health care professionals during the 30 days following surgery, and reported higher convenience scores.
There was no significant difference between the groups in the number of telephone communications, satisfaction scores or complication rates.
“Mobile app follow-up care is suitably targeted to low-risk post-operative ambulatory patients,” said the authors. “These are important findings given the current demands on the health care system and the push toward patient-centric care.”