If you’ve ever had surgery, you know that preparing for the procedure and its aftermath can be daunting. You must follow detailed instructions from your healthcare provider and medical team about what to do before and after. You have to think about risks, healing time, and the lifestyle changes you may have to make post-surgery. And as much as you’ve prepared, you may still have questions about prep or recovery that haven’t been fully answered. Now there’s a digital platform featuring a smartphone app that can help patients prepare for surgery and guide them through recovery. The digital tools supplement live support and interaction from healthcare providers.

Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions, Inc. recently introduced the Johnson & Johnson Health Partner platform. The platform includes three digital tools: a website that offers education and resources before treatment begins; a portal for healthcare providers that allows real-time interaction between patient and provider; and a mobile app that guides patients through the surgical preparation and recovery process.  The digital solution is meant to help patients with knee, hip, or weight loss surgery. According to a Johnson & Johnson press release, the platform will help patients prepare physically, mentally, and emotionally for surgery, and connect them with their care team “to help ensure customized, real-time care.” The smartphone app and other platform elements learn with the patient over time, using behavioral science insights to provide personalized care based on the patient’s behaviors. The Health Partner solution is based on the idea that patients will enjoy a better treatment and recovery process if they have tools to help guide them through their care plan and keep them motivated to get better. The goal is to facilitate improved engagement between patients and their care team, enhance the patient’s quality of life post-surgery, and help with quicker recovery. Another important consideration is reducing costly readmissions and post-operative care.

When patients come home after surgery, they often face obstacles in following their recovery plan. It’s believed that a smartphone app that gets patients more directly involved in their surgery prep and recovery will help them feel they have more agency and drive better adherence to their care plan. As smartphone apps and health wearables become more advanced, patients will be able to receive at least some of the customized post-surgery care they need without having to go to a doctor’s office or medical center.