A new mobile app which gives patients access to expert guidance post-surgery is set to benefit hundreds of people attending Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre each year.
The Pocket Physio app, which can be used on a smartphone or tablet, has been downloaded by more than 70,000 people and won the 2012 Laing & Buisson Health care award for best use of technology in healthcare.
The app is suitable for people who have received complete hip and knee replacement, 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 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 just by looking at pictures. 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 and there are tips for walking, showering, dressing and improving circulation.
Martin Page, hospital director at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre, said: “I think this app will really help people to manage their own recovery.”
“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.”
Pocket Physio is available to download for free on Google Play for Android devices and on the Apple iTunes store.