Health

At the Campus Bio-Medico Rome a digital solution for the remote management of the bariatric patient

An app ‘follows’ the obese patient after bariatric surgery. At the Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital Foundation in Rome, a new digital solution helps to have better clinical results and shorter hospital stays. Is called Get Ready * and is designed for all seriously obese people who are candidates for bariatric surgery to support them in every phase of their preparation and their post-operative recovery. Developed by Medtronic, a leading Healthcare Technology company, the multidisciplinary and multispecialist team of the Bariatric Surgery Center of the Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital Foundation was involved in the conception and elaboration phase, where an average of 500 interventions are performed every year.

The innovation, reads a joint note from Medtronic and Campus Bio-Medico, “arises from the need for actively and attentively follow the patient throughout the treatment processup to bringing him to the best possible recovery after surgery and decreasing the abandonment of controls, which today still stands at 60% of which about 30% regains weight. Since the beginning of the year, 135 patients in the Center have been using the app. Optimization of the use of resources, reduction of the number of medical consultations in the presence, constant monitoring of patient parameters, as well as a better managed planning of the preparation path for the intervention, are just some of the expected benefits from the use of the app “.

Obesity is a very complex chronic disease and affects 10% of the population in Italy, about six million people. It profoundly affects the state of health because it is associated with numerous and sometimes serious comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and stroke, various forms of cancer and mental health problems that in varying degrees worsen the quality of life and they reduce its duration. In severely obese patients who have not achieved results with behavioral and drug therapy, bariatric surgery may represent a choice for lasting healing and to reduce the risk of associated pathologies as well as to regain a better quality of life.

Almost 25,000 bariatric surgeries are performed every year in Italy, made more and more safe by new technologies and by the application of the Erabs protocol (accelerated recovery after bariatric surgery). However, the intervention represents only a stage in the path of the bariatric patient, a difficult and demanding path that must be faced with awareness and supported by an efficient and effective multidisciplinary team. Today technology offers a valid help in taking care of the patient because allows to optimize the management of the entire care path of the obese patient through the use of a multi-channel digital platform (web, mobile, sms) and a digitalized treatment protocol that allow an adequate and conscious preparation of the patient for the surgical procedure, as well as the remote monitoring of his health conditions by the clinical team throughout the course.

The app is made available to patients when they are taken over by the hospital, immediately creating a direct link with the center. The patient path supported by Get Ready is developed in three phases: the pre-operative phase, that is the pre-surgical and pre-hospitalization phase, with the multidisciplinary evaluation that will give or not the suitability for bariatric surgery, the the immediate post-operative phase for the early management of any complications, and the medium-long term follow-up phase, which is crucial for the patient to maintain lost weight and good general health over time.

To each of these phases correspond gods informative contents that help patients to have an active role in their care path thanks to the possibility of recording symptoms, measurements of biometric parameters and providing answers to questionnaires on one’s general health status. Not only that: patients receive educational content, information on administrative procedures, lifestyle guidelines, reminders on exams or activities to be carried out and can communicate with their clinical team through the in-app messaging system.

In turn, the clinical team is able to provide concrete and effective remote assistance thanks to Get Ready, defining the path and the protocol of care for their patients, monitoring their state of health through the data received and communicating directly with patients in case of need. All in total security, given that the platform is a SaaS (Software as a Service) in the cloud, compliant with the legislation on privacy and data security and capable of integrating with hospital IT systems. A useful innovation, especially in the current period of Covid 19 emergency because it reduces the need for hospital or outpatient access.

“The need to maintain constant contact with patients who are candidates or have undergone bariatric surgery, especially in a historical period such as this which requires us to reduce travel and contacts to the essentials, has prompted us to welcome with enthusiasm the Medtronic proposal to contribute to the realization of a digitized protocol that allows the clinical staff to follow the patient in the pre and post surgery process “, he declares Vincenzo Bruni, director of Bariatric Surgery at the Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital Foundation.

“The pathological obesity treatment process – continues Bruni – due to its characteristics such as preoperative evaluation, surgical intervention and postoperative follow-up in the short and long term, is well suited to the use of the digital tool that allows on the one hand to maintain continuous contact with the patient, on the other to rationalize time and use of resources. Furthermore, the adoption of the Erabs treatment protocol (accelerated recovery after bariatric surgery), requires close control of the patient in the first week after discharge “.

Among the Get Ready benefits for the doctor and the patient: simplicity in configuring and activating the solution for all users, optimization of the use of resources thanks to the possibility of reducing the days of hospitalization and the number of medical consultations in presence, as well as a better managed scheduling with significant reduction in the number of last minute appointment cancellations due to inadequate patient preparation or other clinical reasons. But above all better health outcomes thanks to the adequate preparation of the patient for the surgical procedure and the possibility of promptly detecting critical situations with a consequent reduction in complications and re-hospitalizations. Furthermore, the active involvement of the patient in his own path of care improves his experience in general, reduces anxiety and stress and therefore has positive impacts on the timing and quality of post-surgery recovery.

“Get Ready is an innovative solution with which Medtronic contributes to the digital transformation of the healthcare system, a process that has received an extraordinary boost from the pandemic and the increasingly urgent need to use innovative digital solutions for remote patient management,” he explains. Marco De Luigi, General Manager Integrated Health Solutions of Medtronic Italy and CEO of Ngc Medical.

“This option allows for a double advantage: it offers patients the opportunity to play a leading role in their care path, guaranteeing better health outcomes, and optimizes the use of hospital facilities resources, facilitating their economic sustainability. With these goals, Medtronic’s Integrated Health Solutions division works to facilitate the interaction between doctor and patient through innovative digital and collaborative solutions in the clinical setting. We have been pioneers in remote management and cardiological monitoring, the therapeutic area that has always distinguished Medtronic and today, with Get Ready, we take a further step forward, allowing a real process innovation, thus going beyond the technological content. “, he concludes.

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