A study revealed that app-based postoperative monitoring for oncologic patients undergoing breast reconstruction and gynecology surgery was as effective as in-person follow-up care. The app-based group showed higher quality of recovery scores compared to the control group at two and six weeks post-surgery, while patient satisfaction levels were similar. This study highlights the potential of smartphone apps in improving recovery and satisfaction among cancer patients. Additionally, another research demonstrated the successful detection of skin cancer using a smartphone app called SkinIO.
According to recent research, the use of a smartphone app for postoperative monitoring of oncologic patients has proven to be just as effective as in-person follow-up care.
A study focused on breast reconstruction and gynecology operations has shown that a smartphone app-based follow-up successfully supported the recovery process and increased patient satisfaction among oncologic patients.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 264,000 women and 2,400 men in the US receive a breast cancer diagnosis each year.
Despite the increasing use of smartphone apps in healthcare, limited research has been conducted on their potential to assist patients after surgery. Considering this, and the high number of patients undergoing oncologic surgery, researchers set out to evaluate the use of smartphone apps in postoperative care.
The study employed a randomized clinical trial approach and included 72 patients, half of whom had breast reconstruction surgery, while the other half underwent gynecologic oncology surgery. The patient population was randomly divided into two groups: one received follow-up care through a smartphone app, while the other received conventional in-person follow-ups.
The main measurements assessed by researchers were the quality of recovery and patient satisfaction levels, which were compared between the two groups. Patients in the app-based follow-up group used a surgeon-monitored app to record their Quality of Recovery 15 (QoR15) scores and other variables over six weeks. Patient satisfaction scores were recorded using the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire III (PSQ-III) at two weeks and six weeks after the surgery.
Out of the initial 72 patients, three dropped out of the study. Two of them had undergone breast reconstruction surgery, one in the app group and the other in the control group. The third dropout was a participant who had undergone gynecologic oncology surgery in the control group.
The results showed that at both the two-week and six-week marks, the app-based group had higher mean QoR15 scores compared to the control group. At two weeks, the mean QoR15 scores were 127.58 for the app group and 117.68 for the control group. At six weeks, the scores were 136.64 for the app group and 129.76 for the control group.
Patient satisfaction levels, as indicated by the PSQ-III scores, were similar between the two groups. Both groups also reported a similar number of complications and contacts with the surgeon.
Based on these findings, researchers concluded that app-assisted postoperative monitoring for breast reconstruction and gynecology surgery patients was effective. It resulted in improved recovery quality and comparable levels of patient satisfaction to those who received in-person follow-up care.
Recent research has also demonstrated the diverse capabilities of smartphone apps in healthcare. In July 2022, Stanford Medicine researchers developed an app called SkinIO, which proved helpful in detecting skin cancer among older patients. The app allowed study participants to capture and share photos of potentially cancerous lesions with dermatologists, leading to the identification of skin cancer in three patients.