Digital ‘companion’ supports orthopaedic patients

App is part of digital platform supporting surgical patients

18th June 2021 about a 3 minute read

Myrecovery was created by surgeons to help people plan for surgery and then recover faster, checking their progress as they go. The app is able to asses the range and motion of a joint to a high degree of accuracy.

Here we speak to co-creator Dr Tom Harte about the initiative and how it came about.

It was after surgeons Dr Tom Harte and Dr Axel Sylvan had surgery themselves that they came up with the idea of an app for connecting patients with the hospital team caring for them.

The pair went on to found the company myrecovery, a digital platform which is all about supporting patients through their care pathway in orthopaedic and other surgery. 

Dr Harte explains that one aim is supporting the care team to make the best decisions and ensure care is safe. 

“In the long term where we’re really adding value is helping people to make better decisions while also driving research in the wider orthopaedic community.

“Research is a big part of what we’re about so we’ve had a number of really cool studies presented showing how a lot of the data we’re driving is feeding into patient recovery.

“One project is supporting a number of surgical robots. If a patient is undergoing robotic surgery we will support the surgeon to evaluate the robot and its safety. 

“So we’re quite a complex platform. The app is a key part of it all and is fundamentally why we started the company”.

The team also believe they can help with the response to the backlog of patients caused by cancelled surgery due to COVID-19 by making it possible to carry out more operations. 

“For example many of us believe that knee replacements are life-saving surgery as it enables people to get active again and regain function. “The key to restoring function is making sure someone can achieve a straight leg - without that, function will be impaired. “Someone - usually either a physio or a surgeon - needs to check on how the patient is doing. But if an AI tool can accurately measure the patient flexing their leg remotely this can lead to faster healing and better outcomes.” Dr Tom Harte

The team at Myrecovery believes the way to make surgery scalable is with better smart tools and by getting patients out of hospital faster.

“Since COVID we’ve found that day case surgery is safe, not just for small operations but big ones too. So it’s about looking at what data we need to help us judge who is the most suitable patient for day case surgery.

“The app provides some really good patient information to help the surgeon know when to operate, who to operate on and what care pathway should the patient go down.

“We are driving a lot of very interesting data. Also, compared to some of the scoring systems around, we are able to generate much better data”.

The team are working with a number of NHS trusts in the UK and the platform is also live in the US and 10 countries in mainland Europe. The fastest growing market is Australia.

The tool was featured on the BBC website Apps help orthopaedic patients prepare for surgery

Dr Harte’s own experience as a patient involved six operations in six months. “I had a lot of time to reflect on the care I received. I could see how an app could help the patient get the right information at the right time. Alongside that it can help drive insights on the patient’s recovery. “My own care pathway was pretty ridiculous. I had six pre-op assessments and each time I was asked the same questions. Every time they asked me my height I would reply: “I’m still short!!”

There are a number of other apps for musculoskeletal patients including

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