AN innovative new digital technology is being trialled with patients who have had knee surgery.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is hoping that the system with improve patients experience and outcomes whilst simultaneously reducing recovery time.

The technology works by using a motion sensor which the patient wears on their ankle following surgery.

This then links to a smart phone to provide analysis of the patient’s development, such as how their knee range of movement is progressing and any pain that they may be suffering during their rehabilitation.

This information is made available to the physiotherapists at the Trust, prior to patients attending for their follow up sessions, enabling the department to closely monitor progress and amend interventions where necessary.

Chris Tarn, senior clinical professional at the Trust, said: “We are always looking to improve patient experience and outcomes and whilst this may not be a suitable option for everyone, it’s an excellent addition to the rehabilitation we provide to people following knee surgery.

“We’re confident that this technology will enable patients to leave hospital after surgery with an accurate feedback mechanism that highlights if they are maintaining their progress with rehabilitation through exercise.

“The technology provides instant feedback between patients and our Physiotherapy Team. It enables us to have a clear picture of a patient’s progress or any issues they may be having prior to their physiotherapy appointments.

“Patients are also able to highlight any physiotherapy concerns to the department whilst in the comfort of their own home via the in app communication.”

The trial is already underway, with the team having started to recruit patients prior to their surgery. It is hoped that the results will indicate the benefits of a ‘hospital at home’ solution for patients that have undergone this type of surgery.

Patients will continue to receive the same follow up physiotherapy appointments as those not wishing, or unable, to undertake the trial.

The trial is part of a bigger commitment by the Trust to evolve their services through making better use of data and technology as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

The Trust is already recognised by NHS England as a provider delivering improvements in the quality of care, through the world-class use of digital technologies and information.

The trial is set to finish in October when the data will be evaluated to establish if this technology will be adopted on a more permanent basis.