New health app from Amsterdam

A new app developed in Amsterdam could help speed up patient's post-surgery recovery by up to five days. Research involving 344 patients in several Dutch hospitals has shown that on average, patients using the app - called ‘Ikherstel’ (‘I recover’) - were able to return to their regular daily activities five days earlier than those that didn’t. The app works by offering patients personalised guidance after their operation, including when they can resume day-to-day activities in the home and at work, and advice on common complaints and their specific surgery. Any problems that may arise are also flagged up to both the patient and specialist medical carer through the app. Eva van der Meij, a doctor and researcher at VU, said: "Nowadays people stay shorter and shorter in the hospital after surgery, so they lack certain support to promote their recovery, our eHealth program will help these patients and provide faster recovery."

Continued medical support

Apps supporting post-surgery recovery are much-needed as patients are increasingly discharged quickly following surgery and need access to information and care at home. "Where patients used to receive care and information in the hospital for a few days after their surgery, they are now often home on the same day," explains Judith Huirne, professor of gynecology at VU University Medical Center. "That means that sometimes they are insufficiently informed about the recovery process." The VU research group is now working on making the app accessible to more patients. 

Find out more about Amsterdam's life sciences and health sector, or find out more about the app (in Dutch).