Advantages of a Digital Coach Chatbot for Knee Surgery Recovery

In today’s medical care system, getting the proper care and information both before and after your knee surgery can be elusive. It is often difficult to get reach your doctor or the office staff to ask questions. The written and verbal instructions you receive might not be comprehensive or maybe difficult to understand. Today using cell phone texting technology, it is possible to create a text-based Digital Coach chatbot that can provide daily information, instructions and inspiration. With the addition of some artificial intelligence, the Digital Coach can also answer many of your questions in a two-way text conversation.

Surgeons Set Out to Create a Surgery Digital Coach for Your Cell Phone

In order to leverage technology to improve patient care, three surgeons pioneered a clinically validated set of chatbot instructions that has helped many orthopedic surgery patients. The SMS-based Digital Coach text streams guide patients before and after surgery by delivering informative and empathetic content that’s been clinically shown to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes. The Digital Coach’s effectiveness lies in its ability to truly engage patients, who say that the text messages become an integral part of their daily life throughout their surgical journey.

How does the Digital Coach Work?

The chatbot Digital Coach uses standard SMS texting that we all use on our phones every day.  There is no application to download on your phone or worries about privacy. When you purchase access to the Digital Coach, you are sent a text on your phone that you respond to with the type of surgery you are having and the date. Then the Digital Coach will send you the proper time sequenced information.  The Digital Coach has artificial intelligence that can respond to your questions in two-way texts.

Clara Digital Coach

Results of 2019 Study on Digital Coaches for Knee and Hip Arthroplasty Surgery

To understand whether a Digital Coach bot is effective, a study was conducted by physicians at Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois and the Department of Interventional Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.   The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a text-messaging (Short Message Service [SMS]) bot with respect to patient engagement following joint replacement procedures in a randomized clinical trial. The results of this study were published in THE JOURNAL OF BONE AND JOINT SURGERY (JBJS) on January 16, 2019 report: A Novel, Automated Text-Messaging System Is Effective in Patients Undergoing Total Joint Arthroplasty. The link to the study is here.

The Positive Findings of the JBJS Report for Surgery Patients

The report found significant positive outcomes:

  1. Patients exercised for 8.6 minutes more daily than those without the Digital Coach.
  2. Patients registered an improved mood (more positive) with the Digital Coach.
  3. Patients stopped their narcotics 10 days sooner than those without the Digital Coach.
  4. Patients with the Digital Coach placed fewer phone calls to their surgeon’s office as they had fewer questions or concerns.
  5. Patients had greater range of motion 3 weeks after surgery.
  6. Patients with the Digital Coach had fewer visits to the emergency room.

Clara Clinical Benefits

Clara the Digital Coach Chatbot is Now Commercially Available

Clara is a Digital Recovery Coach that is available to guide knee replacement patients through their surgical journey. Patients who enroll in Clara will receive procedure-specific text messages timed to their date of surgery, starting 2 weeks before surgery and continuing for 6 weeks after surgery. Clara’s messages – usually sent every day – follow widely-accepted standards for joint replacement surgery and have been written by a team of orthopedic surgeons.

What Kinds of Messages Does Clara Send?

Clara the Digital Coach chatbot will guide you through some of the biggest questions that come up throughout your surgical journey such as:

  • Safety precautions before surgery
  • Preparing your home
  • Caring for your incision
  • Infection prevention
  • Pain control
  • Sleeping after surgery
  • Daily rehab exercises
  • Staying motivated
  • Resuming pre-surgical activity

Each stage throughout your surgical journey has a unique set of questions. Clara uses the wisdom of an experienced team of practicing orthopedic surgeons to provide all the relevant information conveniently in the palm of your hand.

What do Patients Say Who Use the Clara Digital Coach?

Many patient testimonials have shown the benefits of the Digital Coach chatbot such as:

“This is the best idea ever to keep in contact with patients via text and lead them through the recovery process & physical therapy exercises. I always looked forward to getting my text messages and they were always pertinent to where I was & what I was thinking in the post-surgery process. Thank you!”

“The text messages reminded me to perform different exercises in a timely manner and be patient with the recovery during painful time from the surgery. It makes you feel like you’re not alone in this long process! What a great concept, really glad I had it for my knee replacement.”

“The Digital Coach was very helpful. Best way to get information before and after surgery, especially when you need help. I didn’t want the messages to end! They are my support every day!”

How Do I Learn More or Purchase the Clara Digital Coach?

More information is on the Clara webpage on MyComfortMD: Here you can find more information on this Digital Coach Chatbot and also the MyComfortMD knee surgery recovery products you can use with Clara.

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