Improving Surgical Outcomes in Elective Surgery Using the Prehab App and the Garmin vívosmart Series

22 Feb, 2023

In an effort to improve outcomes following major surgery, digital healthcare solutions provider Health Circuit has trialled a personalised prehabilitation programme at tertiary hospitals in Europe. The programme employs Health Circuit’s Prehab digital health application to prescribe exercise and the Garmin vívosmart® 4 fitness tracker to collect activity data, combining medical support and patient self-management with the aim of reducing post-surgical complications.

Prehab and Garmin

Better conditioning before surgery has been shown to reduce perioperative complications and to improve patients’ health and quality of life, while cutting costs.1 The EIT Health-supported PAPRIKA project (2019-2021) — co-founded by the European Union — tested the use of the Prehab application to prepare patients for elective surgery and provide follow-up as a way to improve the outcomes of the operation, including:

  • Reducing post-surgical complications by up to 50%
  • Average cost savings of 37%
  • Reducing the need for re-interventions1
  • Reducing hospital and ICU length of stay1

Healthcare professionals prescribed daily physical activity, and study participants used the Prehab app with the vívosmart 4 to report their daily steps and minutes of moderate/vigorous physical activity2. The Garmin Health Standard SDK was used for a direct connection from the Prehab app to the vívosmart 4 to retrieve data daily, allowing for a single-app experience — especially important in this setting with both healthcare professionals and patients requiring access.

A Digitally Enabled Health Solution

Based on the results from the PAPRIKA project, Health Circuit will begin commercialisation of the personalised prehabilitation programme Surgifit™ to help enhance the patients’ functional status for improving perioperative outcomes. The sleep and stress tracking capabilities of the Garmin wearable device will be used to complement the activity tracking currently being utilised. The solution will also be continuously tested and improved in combination with the Garmin vívosmart 4 as part of a feasibility pilot at Mannheim University Hospital in Germany during the first half of 2023.