By: 5 February 2021
Smith+Nephew launches patient app to help restart orthopaedic surgery

Smith+Nephew and Huma, the global digital health company, recently announced the launch of their remote patient monitoring service for orthopaedic surgery.

There are an estimated 250,000 [1] patients on waiting lists for orthopaedic operations due to COVID-19, with UK surgery running at 50% [2] of usual capacity. To restart safe surgery, Smith+Nephew and Huma have developed a way for surgeons to better prepare their patients ahead of operations, help improve their outcomes afterwards and reduce the need for in-person appointments through remote patient monitoring.

Smith+Nephew have provided the orthopaedic expertise, and Huma the digital technology to create an app which will assist in the management of patients undergoing knee and hip replacement surgery. Patients receive pre-surgery guidance, access virtual rehabilitation resources and can have video calls with their surgical team, whilst clinicians can monitor how patients are recovering and use health data to check patients will be well enough for surgery.

Professor Edward Davis, pictured, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Ramsay West Midlands Hospital and The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, added, “In many hospitals around the country, we are facing a backlog of patients. They are often older, in pain and with a severely impacted quality of life. The use of this smart technology enables surgical centres to support patients through treatment, given the considerable constraints of operating and seeing patients
during a pandemic.”

Importantly, a COVID-19 symptom tracker checks for signs of infection before being admitted to hospital and after discharge, giving reassurance to patients and staff.

In the short-term, the Huma application is expected to help more patients access elective joint replacement surgery safely. In the future, the application of artificial intelligence to the data collected may lead to further improvements in surgical decision making and outcomes.

Simon Tarry, Managing Director, UK, Ireland & Nordics at Smith+Nephew commented, “Our new service is a major development, and we believe it will make an immediate impact on the surgical landscape. Partnering with Huma, we have created a highly sophisticated app, allowing Smith+Nephew to offer an end-to-end service around the prosthesis itself. In the short-term, the app will support our mission to get patients back into surgery safely during the pandemic, but the longer-term capabilities of the app could transform how surgeons and patients manage their surgical pathways in the future.”

Elizabeth Wood, knee replacement patient who has trialled the app says, “I got great comfort having the app – it’s like having your very own digital doctor at home! Throughout my journey, it kept me on track with my rehab and made me feel incredibly connected, despite the obvious challenge of COVID.”

The patient app is currently being piloted by patients at both the Ramsay West Midlands Hospital and Spire Bushey Hospital, with a further ten NHS and private hospitals due to pilot the Huma app in the coming weeks.

To learn more about the Smith+Nephew patient app, visit: