BC-Based Peer-to-Peer Social Health App Keeps Outpatients Healthy at Home and Connected to Community During COVID-19
Curatio enables a seamless pivot to online support for outpatients pre and post surgery in response to the pandemic
For Barbara in Okanagan Falls, a big priority when it came to her joint replacement surgery was learning how to manage her pain without solely relying on medications. She was also looking for ways to deal with her anxiety surrounding her impending surgery – a tricky feat during a time of social distancing.
Had Barbara not been a part of Stronger Together, a Curatio led-project developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, looking after her mental and physical health before and after the surgery may have been more difficult.
The Stronger Together program was created by B.C-based digital health company Curatio, a peer-to-peer, private social health network app. Stronger Together delivers coaching from nurses and experts, connection to others undergoing the same surgery, evidence based health literacy programs and daily check-ins for patients pre and post surgery during COVID-19. Curatio has partnered with Cloud DX to integrate remote patient monitoring, privately streamlining clinician workflow to monitor vital signs from anywhere.
“I find the Stronger Together initiative to be very helpful to me in so many ways. Joint replacement surgery is common but a very difficult surgery to recover from, and this program helped prepare me for the surgery by helping me look after my mental and physical health, both before and after the surgery” states Barbara. “I also found the support from the coach ( surgical nurse) and other patients to be extremely helpful on those difficult days post-surgery. I felt much better equipped to prepare for the prehab and rehab parts of my surgery compared to the first time.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for digital healthcare tools to support patients has proven invaluable. Curatio, an SFU VentureLabs client, has been able to safely support outpatients that have not been able to access traditional face-to-face care programs. Stronger Together allows for outpatient systems to fully pivot to online support with giving both patients and their caregivers peace of mind.
Curatio uses a novel approach that combines artificial intelligence, matchmaking and machine learning to connect patients with peer-to-peer support through the use of a single app. In addition to connecting with others who are undergoing similar health challenges, patients can tap into a plethora of resources that help navigate them through their day to day.
Patients work through weekly evidence-based educational programs and participate in daily group discussions led by in-app Community Coaches, all while checking and monitoring their vitals each morning from the comfort of their own homes.
“Giving patients the daily support they need safely in their homes, while helping doctors and surgeons make the best use of their limited time, benefits everyone. I’m so pleased that we have seen improvements in patient health literacy, outcomes and wellbeing using our private, secure platform. We hope to make this available to all patients, not only in B.C. but around the world. Everyone deserves this type of support” – states Lynda Brown-Ganzert, CEO of Curatio.
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Through the provision of this comprehensive private social network, Curatio’s program proves that any connection, including those provided virtually at the touch of a button, is an invaluable asset to patients who are dealing with physical challenges, as well as loneliness and other mental challenges.
Stronger Together keeps outpatients at home, healthy and safe, yes–but most of all, it keeps them connected.
“The program filled the unknown during the gap from the date my knee surgery date was determined right up to the actual operation. I found resources and information on how to prepare physically, mentally and how to prepare your home for return during recovery. The program also offers the assistance of a nurse coach to be by your virtual side to give advice and encouragement as well as access to professional assistance” Ted, another patient enrolled in the Stronger Together program.
Stronger Together has already been deployed within Penticton Regional Hospital (Interior Health) to help support patients preparing for and recovering from joint replacement surgery, with guidance from leaders and chronic disease experts at Interior Health, the University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University.