SAN FRANCISCO – PeerWell, a company that develops mobile technology to help people prevent, prepare for and recover from surgery, has extended its platform to help patients identify and avoid trip and fall hazards. PeerWell’s Trip & Fall Hazard Detector allows users to walk around their homes with their smartphone cameras, while the system’s real-time artificial intelligence identifies and flags trip and fall hazards. When the Trip & Fall Hazard Detector identifies a hazard, an augmented reality alert is superimposed over the video display. After the evaluation, photos of the problem areas will be shown to the patient with education on how to fix them. PeerWell’s AI will assign patients’ homes a risk score, which can be used by health systems to schedule in-home occupational therapy visits and inform discharge planning. “This technology continues to put us years ahead of the industry,” said Manish Shah, CEO of PeerWell, in a statement. “Most image recognition systems are trained using publicly available data sets. Here, there is no data set like this, so even the foundational data is proprietary.” PeerWell will offer this as a new component of its existing platform, which includes smartphone-based range of motion assessment, autonomous care path creation and the tracking of more than 40 data streams per episode of care. PeerWell has collected more than 1 million mHealth records to date, enabling its artificial intelligence based system.
ANDOVER, Mass. – Smith & Nephew has launched a digital platform that enables orthopaedic surgeons to remotely track their patients’ real-time healing progress. In partnership with Wellframe, a mobile-enabled care management solution provider, Smith & Nephew’s platform collects data from patients by measuring their recovery at regular time points. “Our innovative platform has the potential to revolutionize the recovery process for each patient and provide invaluable data to inform future innovation and clinical practice,” said Andy Weymann, chief medical officer at Smith & Nephew, in a statement. The Wellframe technology includes a care team dashboard and a mobile application that features a daily checklist with education and reminders for patients to engage in behaviors required to aid their surgery preparation and rehabilitation, as well as messaging between surgical teams and patients. Smith & Nephew has conducted research studies on the new platform in select U.S. and U.K. hospitals. “Using mobile technology is a significant improvement over standard care, providing the patient with an easy-to-use tool to report their progress and enabling surgeons to track patient recovery closely,” said Iain McNamara, one of the clinical investigators, in a statement.
STORRS, Conn. – Engineers at the University of Connecticut have developed a biodegradable pressure sensor that could help doctors monitor chronic lung disease, swelling of the brain and other medical conditions before dissolving harmlessly in a patient’s body. The research was reported in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The small flexible sensor has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in surgical sutures, bone grafts and medical implants and was designed to replace existing implantable pressure sensors that have potentially toxic components and must be removed after use. The researchers said other potential applications include monitoring patients with heart disease, bladder cancer and glaucoma. “We knew that if we could develop a sensor that didn’t require surgery to take it out, that would be really significant,” said Thanh Duc Nguyen, the paper’s senior author. The new sensor is capable of capturing a wide range of physiological pressures, such as those found in the brain, behind the eye and in the abdomen, and can be used in its current form to help patients avoid invasive sensor-removal surgery.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. –Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions has launched the Johnson & Johnson Health Partner platform for patients preparing for, and recovering from, knee, hip or weight loss surgery.
“Health Partner has been designed with the ‘whole person’ experience in mind to help ensure better engagement between patients and their health care team, and get patients back to living their lives—because we know that will help enhance efficiencies and quality of care,” said Sandra Peterson, group worldwide chair at Johnson & Johnson, in a statement.
That Health Partner is a connected digital platform that can help patients prepare physically, mentally and emotionally for surgery by connecting them with their health care team for customized, real-time care. It learns with the user over time and provides personalized patient care that adapts based on each patient’s changing needs and behaviors.
The Health Partner platform consists of three connected digital tools: a website that provides education and resources before treatment even begins; a mobile app to help guide a patient through surgical preparation and recovery; and a care portal designed for providers and health systems to enable real-time interaction throughout a patient’s treatment journey.
The behavior change strategies integrated into Health Partner are selected based on the best current scientific evidence available to help increase the likelihood patients will follow pre- and post-surgical care, said Peterson.
“Health care is personal, and helping people achieve their best health is deeply rooted in our commitment as a health care company,” she said.
CHICAGO – Toronto-based SeamlessMD worked with colorectal surgeons and other hospital administrators at Rush University Medical Center to develop a customized app for the hospital’s enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) program.
The mobile app uses prompts, checklists and timelines to remind patients what they need to do before and after surgery. It also educates patients on their milestones, tracks compliance with ERAS care processes and generates reports for quality improvement.
“SeamlessMD is a tool that was specifically designed to support patients through a surgical process that includes enhanced recovery,” said Dr. Anthony Perry, vice president for ambulatory care and population health at Rush, in a statement. “It’s not only a neat technology, but a neat technology that’s truly aligned with our own goals of better health for those patients coming through the ERAS process.”
The hospital’s colorectal surgery team began the ERAS program in 2014, and has managed to reduce the average hospital stay of these patients by 2.2 days. The program began expanding to other hospital surgical programs this year.
“It’s a combination of things we do before surgery, during surgery, and after surgery that improves the overall patient experience,” said Dr. Bruce Orkin, a colorectal surgeon at Rush, in a statement. “We can decrease surgical site infection rates, improve the pain control after surgery and reduce the amount of time in the hospital. People get back to work, back to family and back to life much more rapidly.”
The SeamlessMD app is provided free of charge to the surgery patients.