Journal of Surgical Simulation 2016; 3: A: 3 - 3
Published: 25 February 2016
Special Issue: Usher: patient support across the bariatric surgical pathway
A patient pathway is the route taken by patients from referral until treatment completion. Such pathways are used to manage the quality and effectiveness of healthcare delivery. However, patient pathways are often complex from a patient’s perspective and substantial variability exists across conditions. Furthermore, poor patient flow may increase the likelihood of harm and raises healthcare costs.
Much interest has arisen around the use of portable communication devices such as smartphones and related apps, in enhancing healthcare delivery and support. Such technologies have become ubiquitous amongst both patients and healthcare professionals.
Focusing on the bariatric surgical pathway initially, we have developed the Usher platform. Usher is a smartphone app that provides tailored education and support to patients referred to the Imperial Weight Centre for bariatric surgery. The app has been developed collaboratively by a team of clinicians, academics, and designers and is underpinned by end-user research with patients and clinicians, and a user-centred approach to development. Usher provides bariatric patients with information about their condition and available treatment options, tests their knowledge, allows users to track their health, and provides an overview of the entire bariatric pathway. Direct communication between patients and clinicians is also supported.
mHealth; bariatric surgery; patient pathway; smartphone app
This presentation was given at the Fifth Annual Homerton Simulation Conference: Innovations in Healthcare, Patient Safety and Simulation, Homerton University Hospital, London, UK, on 10 December 2015.
Conflicts of interest: Sanjay Purkayastha is part of the team at Imperial College who have developed Usher, a smartphone app, designed to support patients through the bariatric surgery pathway at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Usher has other apps in development currently including an app for diabetes patients