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Large Joints Feature

Courtesy of CSIRO

CSIRO Strikes Again! App for Knee Replacement Patients

Biloine W. Young • Tue, April 11th, 2017

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A new app designed for patients planning to undergo knee replacement surgery has been developed by Australia's leading scientific agency to assist people preparing for and recovering from the experience.

The app, designed in collaboration between the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices, will aim to reduce the recovery time and offer better rehabilitation techniques.

Rob Grenfell, M.D. from the CSIRO said the technology had the potential to make a huge difference to patient recovery by providing patients with practical information—including physiotherapy demonstration videos, pre-surgery checklists, reminders and supportive information in text, video and audio formats.

"The aim of our digital health platforms is to support patients on their surgery journey and recovery," Grenfell said.

"As more Australians face surgical treatment for osteoarthritis, more work needs to be done to understand how we can deliver accessible and cost effective services for patients and clinicians. This study will allow us to understand the ways in which the app changes the patient experience,” he said

Michael Hunter from the Australian Orthopaedic Association said engaging with patients throughout their recovery was crucial during the later stages of rehabilitation. He said that the app should help patients to "stay on track."

"Studies have demonstrated that sound pre-operative preparation and post-operative rehabilitative exercises following a total knee replacement can improve outcomes by increasing muscle strength, improving joint function, restoring functional mobility, preventing deep vein thrombosis and shortening recovery times," according to Hunter.

A planned trial of the app will involve up to 300 patients and 5 hospitals in multiple states in Australia.

Gavin Fox-Smith, director, Johnson & Johnson Pty Limited, said the collaboration and the trial of the app will provide "additional support" to clinicians and patients undergoing knee replacement surgery. "We are committed to improving surgical outcomes to support a patient's journey from pre-surgery education and exercises to post-operative compliance and return to wellness."

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