CONNECTPlus: Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis

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Through funding secured by Devon CCG via NHSE South West, CONNECTPlus will be used by patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis in Torbay and South Devon to improve experience and self-management, but also to reduce the Trust’s follow-up consultations by 80%, releasing at least 4 hours of Band 6/7 AHP time per week.

This will be achieved by using the app to support patients to:

  • Learn about their condition
  • Improve self-management
  • Prepare for and recover from procedures
  • Use a medication and appointment diary
  • Make informed decisions with the inclusion of a digital patient decision aid
  • Access a virtual joint school and physiotherapy programmes
  • Avoid travel to hospital
  • Track their pain and mobility

This will be accompanied by the integration of a wearable device (Garmin tracker) to track post-operative mobility. The ability to view this data on a consultant facing dashboard will enable the Trust to move to a targeted follow up approach, where a post-procedure follow-up consultation is the exception rather than the rule. This will mean only those patients with symptom scores indicating a delayed recovery will be required to have a follow up consultation.

Wider benefits

Providing access to the CONNECTPlus app also will support patients who are waiting significant lengths of time and assist them to self-manage their symptoms. In addition, early intervention for patients with persistent high pain scores can help reduce long term complications and therefore avoid ongoing use of healthcare resources.

Wider benefits for the Trust will be seen from the ability to provide remote physiotherapy programmes more effectively, improve compliance with regards to medication which will ultimately see a reduction in the number of patients opting for complex treatments eg. surgery, reduced bed days and shortened or reduced pre-operative appointments.