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Remote patient monitoring following full endoscopic spine surgery: feasibility and patient satisfaction

HumanInsight Remote patient monitoring following full endoscopic spine surgery: feasibility and patient satisfaction

J Neurosurg Spine. 2023 Apr 14:1-10. doi: 10.3171/2023.2.SPINE23136. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: The utilization of telemedicine in healthcare has increased dramatically during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to investigate the feasibility to perform remote patient monitoring after full endoscopic spine surgery via a smartphone application that also allows communication with patients.

METHODS: A smartphone application (SPINEhealthie) was designed at the University of Washington and used to collect patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and to provide chat communication between patients and their care team. A total of 71 patients were included in the study and prospectively followed for 3 months postoperatively. Patient demographic characteristics, compliance with surveys, and frequency of chat utilization were recorded. The ease of use, the participants' experiences with the app interface design, and the usefulness of the app were assessed by using the mHealth App Usability Questionnaire (MAUQ).

RESULTS: Of all eligible patients, 71/78 (91.0%) agreed to participate. Of these, 60 (85%) patients provided at least 1 postoperative PROM. There was good coverage of the immediate postoperative period with 45 (63.4%) patients providing ≥ 5 PROMs within the 1st week after surgery. The authors observed a 33.2% increase in patient compliance in postoperative PROMs and a 45.7% increase in chat function utilization between the first and last of the three enrollment periods of the study, during which continuous updates were made to improve the app's functionality. Sixty-two (87.3%) patients responded to the user satisfaction survey after using the app for at least 40 days. The MAUQ results revealed excellent rates of satisfaction for ease of use (78.6% of the maximum score), app interface design (71.4%), and usefulness (71.4%), resulting in a total mean MAUQ score of 110 (74.8%). Communication with the doctor (38 votes) was found to be the top feature of the app. Additionally, physical therapy instructions (33 votes) and imaging review (29 votes) were the top two features that patients would like to see in future app versions. Lastly, the authors have presented a case example of a 68-year-old man who used the app for postoperative monitoring and communication after undergoing a two-level lumbar endoscopic unilateral laminotomy for bilateral decompression.

CONCLUSIONS: Postoperative remote patient monitoring and communication after full endoscopic surgery is feasible using the SPINEhealthie app. Importantly, patients were willing to share their medical information using a mobile device, and they were eager to use it postoperatively as a supplementary tool.

PMID:37060314 | DOI:10.3171/2023.2.SPINE23136

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