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Smith+Nephew partner with Huma

Press release: Smith+Nephew and Huma develop RPM app to assist the restart of UK orthopaedic surgery

First published: 3 Mar 2021 | 3 min read
Author: Ed Sykes

LONDON and NEW YORK, Mar. 3, 2021

Smith+Nephew (LSE: SN, NYSE: SNN), the global medical technology business, and Huma, the global digital health company, today announce the launch of their remote patient monitoring app for orthopaedic surgery.

There are an estimated 250,000 patients on waiting lists for orthopaedic operations due to COVID-19, with UK surgery running at 50% 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, through remote patient monitoring. [Previous work](<McDonall J, de Steiger R, Reynolds J, et al, Patient activation intervention to facilitate participation in recovery after total knee replacement (MIME): a cluster randomised cross-over trial, BMJ Quality & Safety 2019;28:782-792.">) has shown the positive impact that better preparation can have on patients, such as reducing recovery time, and digital services like this can offer timely, tailored information and reminders to help patients be prepared. 

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

Professor Edward Davis, 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.”

In the short-term, the app 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, The app is a major development which we believe will make an immediate impact on the surgical landscape. Partnering with Huma, we have created a sophisticated app which allows Smith+Nephew to support an end-to-end platform and solution 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 app is currently being piloted by surgeons and patients across several UK hospitals, with immediate plans to roll it out to a further ten NHS and private hospitals in the coming weeks.

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Media contact:

Ed Sykes, Communications

ed.sykes@huma.com

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