Smart rehabilitation at home before and after lung surgery Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust

  • Run by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, with technical support and qualitative assessment from the University of Warwick and the University of Birmingham.
  • Intervention to be administered by lung nurse specialists in the outpatient setting.
  • Aims to improve care for patients before and after lung surgery, improve patient experience and reduce complications.
  • Will introduce a tailored, at-home, app-based rehabilitation programme for lung surgery patients, which will allow wider and more convenient access to care.

Over 5,000 patients a year in the UK undergo major surgery to remove part of their lung, primarily because of cancer. Post-operative complications include collapse or infection of the remaining lung and happen in around 15% of cases.

It has been demonstrated that an outpatient-based programme of exercise training, self-management, education, and nutritional and smoking cessation support can reduce complications and readmission rates amongst these patients. However, there is a lack of access for patients onto these programmes.

A team at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has developed a tailored at-home smart device app that aims to improve patient fitness for surgery, therefore reducing post-surgical complications and enhancing recovery.

The app involves self-care, education, and exercise to help prepare patients for surgery and improve recovery. It uses a Bluetooth pulse oximeter to measure heart rate during the rehabilitation exercises. This means feedback can be provided to the patient on their progress. This can all be done by the patient at home, so they do not have to attend hospital. Health care staff are able to use the data recorded for monitoring and therapy purposes.

Enhanced recovery programmes are already in use for surgery such as bowel, uterus, orthopaedic and prostate. This will be the first validated recovery programme for lung surgery.

Evaluation of the project will include assessing patient acceptability and compliance, post-operative complications, lung function, exercise capacity, length of stay and intensive care and hospital readmission rates. 

Contact

For further information about the project, please email Babu Naidu, Consultant Thoracic Surgeon/Clinical Scientist, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

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