We live in a digital health world shaped by the ongoing quest to save time and money. Healthcare’s shift to the connected world was forged in part by these factors. But the shift was also influenced by patients’ inability to adhere to their prescribed treatment plans and providers desire to help their patients.

According to surveys reported by mHealth News, seven out of every 10 patients don’t follow their doctor’s orders. Common reasons for poor adherence include:

  • Lack of dedicated time and personal motivation to perform the regimens essential for maximum recovery
  • Difficulty with work/school/health/life balance
  • Cost of health insurance plus additional copays and deductibles   
  • Access to transportation

Poor adherence is a significant issue with estimates being reported as high as 70% and often leading to persistent, disabling complaints and inability to recover completely.

In my practice, conversations with patients gradually shifted from emphasizing the patient journey toward recovery to highlighting the importance of taking ownership of their health and well-being. As an orthopedic surgeon, it was important for me to make sure my patients commit to their rehabilitation to maximize their outcome.

When patients don’t take personal ownership of their health, the health system as a whole is affected, stressing an already fragile care-delivery paradigm. The aging population, coupled with an imbalance of available health professionals, is resulting in longer delays for medical treatment, increased costs, and decreased efficiencies.

Due to many of these challenges, musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries are ripe for innovation. The delivery of rehabilitation and recovery programs on a digital platform has a tremendous potential to drive a positive impact on overall health by improving access to evidence-based care at a much lower cost structure. The U.S. spends $1T on musculoskeletal care, including the direct and indirect effects of such injuries, diseases, and related care. Innovation in digital health could undoubtedly help decrease total US cost.

Shifting Care Paths to Support Rehabilitation at Home

Well-designed connected health technologies provide a unique opportunity to improve patient care by integrating the care team and risk managing the patients remotely. Connected health technologies also enable patients in rural or remote areas access to quality evidence-based care. The data compiled can positively impact care for those with surgical or nonsurgical MSK conditions.

Providers, health systems, and payers already familiar with connected health platforms are altering their approach to care delivery and clinical workflow, improving transparency necessary in the standard delivery of care.  

The Trainer Rx platform is a connected health technology that delivers easy, accessible, and financially viable means of remotely managing a patient population in minimal time. Experts in orthopedic surgery, internal medicine, anesthesiology, physical/occupational therapy, and athletic training have worked tirelessly over the past five years to create a rich patient experience.

The programs available in Trainer Rx are patient-centric, giving a clear and understandable journey that individuals can reasonably be part of – supported by their care medical providers. For family members and caregivers, the home self-care content conveys essential information that drives self-efficacy and ownership of care outside in-clinic visits. Instruction and education from pre-habilitation to peri-operative through full recovery at a low-cost structure has never been available previously.

Trainer Rx offers customizable pathways for over 160 unique MSK conditions and orthopedic treatment protocols. The list includes surgical and non-surgical treatment options from knee osteoarthritis [OA, Non-surgical- intermediate, athletic, balance precautions etc.], low back pain [chronic or subacute, non-surgical, basic] and shoulder, rotator cuff repair [small and medium etc.]  

Patient engagement is high with more than 80 percent accessing the platform each week and staying on their programs an average of 12 weeks across both surgical and nonsurgical pathways.  Many patients experience a high level of pain relief through their engagement with the platform – in some cases up to at least 45%. Patient satisfaction score for the platform ranks at 87% [Net Promoter Score] NPS, a known loyalty metric.

It is clear that the adoption of digital health technology will not abate and may soon be a standard approach to improving the patient health population. Enterprise systems seeking a digital health technology for MSKs view Trainer Rx as an effective platform of choice. Its ability to deliver education, rehabilitation, and home self-care content through multi-lingual audio, video, and text instruction is transformative, redefining the recovery landscape.

Photo by Harlie Raethel on Unsplash

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