Case Study

Mobile Health App for Surgical Patients

The Objective

ERAS, or Enhanced Recovery After Surgery, is a transformative surgical approach rapidly gaining traction throughout the medical community for its impressive impact on surgical outcomes. In the ERAS protocol, patients receive specific plans for diet and exercise changes in the days leading up to, the day of, and after surgery. Dr. Kevin Elias and his team at the OB/GYN surgery department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital recognized that adherence to the protocol depended on the patient following on-paper instructions in their home. Hospital staff were unable to monitor patient adherence and encourage the patient behavior change outside hospital walls that was needed to enhance their recovery. Dr. Elias approached ADK with a vision - to create a first-of-its-kind mobile application and clinician dashboard that would allow the OB/GYN department to increase patient adherence to ERAS protocols. We knew the clinical goal that they were trying to solve. The next step was to combine our clinical and technological expertise to invent the product interface, user experience, and underlying technology.
The Objective
The SolutionThe SolutionThe Solution

The Solution

The core challenge was delivering a great patient experience in the app, while also ensuring strong compliance to the demands of the ERAS protocol. To solve this, ADK’s strategy team and UX/UI designers worked closely alongside the experts at BWH in a focused discovery phase. Working with a clinical team led by Dr. Kevin Elias, we architected a patient-friendly mobile application interface that delivers the necessary information and captures the key data. We then designed a complementary custom dashboard for BWH. 

The app would serve as an intuitive content-based data collection tool in areas such as diet, activity, and general wellness. In addition to preoperative and postoperative evaluation, the platform would also provide information such as dietary reminders and instructional activity videos in compliance with the ERAS program. This digital-pathway would make it easier for patients to follow the specific requirements of the ERAS program throughout the length of their surgical journey. 

The dashboard was built on the ADK Mobile Research Platform architecture and was customized in collaboration with the BWH iHub to fit BWH's unique needs. This dashboard gives clinicians easy access to essential app analytics, protocol administration tools, and patient usage data. Once the vision was formalized into designs and specifications, ADK’s expert React Native development team built the patient-friendly mobile application to the highest code and user experience standards. Our clinician-facing dashboard is compatible with EPIC software in order to aggregate and calculate the metrics captured from patients in the mobile application. Our integration team also worked closely with BWH clinicians and EPIC developers to implement the ERAS onboarding process within EPIC.

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The problem being solved is fundamentally human in nature: how can we leverage technology and design to change patient behavior? The team of BWH clinicians collaborated closely with the product designers, engineers, and strategists from ADK and clinicians at BWH to build a suite of products that help improve the patient journey for surgeries. ADK’s depth of experience in mobile health app design and EPIC software, combined with our mobile data collection solution (the ADK Mobile Research Platform), made us the perfect project partner. The launch, usage, and outcomes of the app is already generating so much excitement that the other BWH surgical departments are gearing up for their own versions and a hospital-wide roll-out is in the works. 

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