2014-04-24 17:13:58 - Across the country thousands of patients are set to benefit from a new mobile app that gives them instant access to Care UK physiotherapy services as well as allowing them to manage their post-operative appointments and recovery more effectively.
The Pocket Physio app was originally developed by UK Specialist Hospitals, which was taken over by Care UK in February 2013. Since its launch in 2012 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 & Buisson Health care award for Best use of technology in healthcare.
Until now, it was only available in a few treatment centres and it was only suitable for patients undergoing hip and knee surgery. However, following extensive research and updating, additional procedures such as hand and foot surgeries have been included in the app, which is available free to anyone undergoing treatment at Care UK’s 11
treatment centres nationwide.
The app is suitable for people who have received complete hip and knee replacements; who have undergone an operation 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.
As well as videos of people demonstrating the exercise programmes, the app also features a calendar that reminds patients when to exercise and also keeps details of their appointments.
Mini Jacob, a lead physiotherapist at Care UK, helped to develop the app with her team. She 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.”
Mini explained that one problem with rehabilitation is that people forget to do their exercises on a regular basis. To combat this, Pocket Physio allows patients to set an alarm to notify them when it is time to exercise so that they can start their programme as advised. It also enables people to keep track of their appointments. There are also post-operative tips for walking, showering, dressing and improving circulation, as well as contact details for the centres teams.
Furthermore, the app can be used by hospital nurses and physiotherapists before operations to demonstrate exercises to patients and help optimise their results.
Geoff Benn, managing director of Care UK’s secondary care division, has welcomed the app as an effective way to help patients manage their treatment and recovery.
He said: “We all know how easy it is to begin an exercise programme with the best of intentions, but it is easy to forget to do them, or to become concerned that you aren’t doing them correctly. This app will be like having one of our expert physiotherapists to hand, gently encouraging you on your path to recovery and an active life.”
“The teams at our treatment centres have worked hard to ensure that each one is free of infections and our rates of unplanned returns to hospital post-operation are very low. By using mobile technology we can help to maximise the benefit of people’s surgery.”
Pocket Physio is available to download for free on Google Play for Android devices and on the Apple iTunes store.