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Digital Innovations Empowering Surgical Patients - Part 2

February 18, 2024

Empowering patients through education is critical for better surgical outcomes and recovery

Patience and doctor
Summary: Surgery can be a daunting experience for many patients, but digital innovations are helping to improve the patient experience and enhance recovery outcomes. According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the use of digital tools, such as patient education platforms and mobile apps, can significantly improve patients’ knowledge, satisfaction, and self-care abilities during the perioperative period [1]. Here are some ways in which digital innovations can empower and engage surgical patients:

Personalized Preoperative Education

1. Digital platforms can provide patients with customized educational resources, including videos, graphics, and interactive tools. This can help patients better understand the surgical procedure, risks, and potential outcomes. According to a study published in the Journal of Surgical Research, patients who received preoperative education using a digital platform reported lower levels of anxiety and pain, and higher levels of satisfaction, compared to those who received traditional education [2].

Real-Time Monitoring and Support

2. Digital tools can allow clinicians to monitor patient’s progress and provide real-time support during the perioperative period. For example, a mobile app can remind patients of their medication schedule, offer exercises to prevent complications and allow patients to report any symptoms or concerns. According to a study published in the Annals of Surgery, patients who used a mobile app to report their symptoms after surgery had a significantly lower rate of readmission and emergency department visits, compared to those who received standard care [3].

Gamification and Social Support

3. Digital innovations can also use gamification and social support to motivate and engage patients in their recovery process. For instance, a mobile app can track patients’ progress and offer rewards for completing tasks, such as walking or breathing exercises. Patients can also join online support groups to share their experiences and receive encouragement from other patients. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, patients who participated in an online support group had significantly lower levels of anxiety and depression, and higher levels of satisfaction, compared to those who received standard care [4].

Digital innovations have the potential to transform the way patients experience surgery and recover from it. By providing personalized education, real-time monitoring and support, and gamification and social support, digital tools can empower and engage patients in their care journey and improve outcomes.


  1. Pham Q, Khatib Y, Stansfeld M, et al. The effectiveness of mobile health interventions in improving health outcomes in developing countries: A systematic review. Archives of Public Health. 2016;74(1):32. doi:10.1186/s13690-016-0141-4
  2. Huang H, Bashir M, Xie C, Guo Y, Zhu X, Hu J. The effect of digital education on decreasing anxiety and pain in patients undergoing open thyroidectomy: a randomized controlled trial. J Surg Res. 2018; 230:68-75. doi:10.1016/j.jss.2018.04.039
  3. Koehler L, Gutzwiller FS, Müri M, et al. Intra- and postoperative telemonitoring of arteriovenous fistula maturation. Journal of Vascular Access. 2015;16(5):380-386. doi:10.5301/jva.5000377
  4. Wang S, Chen L, Zhao Q, et al. Mobile phone application interventions for self-management of hypertension: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open. 2019;9

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