The app can strengthen patients' understanding of rehabilitation exercises, especially among the elderly, who tend to have short-term memory and often forget what therapists have told them after returning home.
The JR Care app is the public hospital operator's first app for joint replacement patients and is now available to download via the authority's mobile app HA Go.
The app allows patients to record their recovery progress. Clinical staff can store patients' implant records, including the date of operation and the model of the artificial joints, which then sync to the authorities' cloud.
Doctors and therapists can refer to the app, which facilitates consultations and speeds up the process.
Patients can access information such as photos and educational videos for both preoperative and postoperative exercises and a list of frequently asked questions.
"Patients face a lot of hesitation in everyday life, and all these hesitations become a list of questions to be asked during consultation," said Mak Cheuk-hang, a physiotherapist at Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital. "We hope the app can solve their hesitations."
Mak said that some patients are not familiar with the resources available in their neighborhoods. Doctors, nurses and therapists took the time to walk around Tai Po district and integrated 274 rehab facilities into the app, which now features a map of all the rehab facilities in the district.
Since many of those who have had artificial joints installed are elderly patients and it is difficult for them to read and memorize a pile of printed handouts of rehab information, said Mak, they were inspired to digitalize all the rehab information.
Sixty-year-old Chan Ying-sum - who had artificial joints installed for both of his knees last month - found the app useful as he could follow the instructions for the rehab exercises through it.
"I have been following the app's instructions since the very first day, as I found it difficult to memorize all of the exercises," Chan said.
He also found it troubling to handle various rehab handouts and appointment slips. With the HA Go and JR Care apps, he can check appointment dates and instructions for rehab exercises anytime.
Dennis Yee King-hang, associate consultant of the hospital's department of orthopedics and traumatology, said the app can motivate patients to do the exercises.
"As the patients can keep track of their recovery progress, this is a form of encouragement in motivating them to do more exercises," Yee said.
As of last month, the JR Care app had recorded a total of 603 downloads.
There were a total of 269 patients who had artificial joints installed in the New Territories East Cluster in 2021 and some 82 percent of them had downloaded the app. Among them, 45 percent were over 70 years old, while another 42 percent of them were over 60 years old.
The app has been rolled out on a trial basis at Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Tai Po since April 2021 and will be extended to other acute hospitals in the New Territories East Cluster early this year, including at Prince of Wales Hospital and North District Hospital.
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