Updated: Oct 31, 2022
Bariatric News spoke with Elke Coorens, who underwent a Roux-Y-en gastric bypass in May 2022, about her experience of using the Medtronic’ digital Get Ready mobile App – how the mobile app improved her knowledge of bariatric surgery, how it helps her on a daily basis to complete tasks and why the mobile App is a useful tool for bariatric patients…
“Prior to using the mobile App, I did a lot of research to try and find out as much information about bariatric surgery and I found that there was a huge amount of confusing or contradictory information on the internet” she explained. “When I first started using the Get Ready App in March 2022, a few weeks prior to surgery, I found the App to be extremely informative. In particular, the visual explanations of the procedure very useful they really helped understand more about the procedure and how it would help me lose weight. I also showed the animation videos to my friends and family so they could see what would happen during the procedure, how it would help me lose weight and the positive effects surgery would have on my entire health.”
Elke explained that having lots of resources about the procedure, complications and advice in a single App on her phone was especially useful, as it saved her the time of having to search for videos and information on the internet. She added that she was also a member of a bariatric patient group on Facebook however, she noticed that there was a lot of misinformation posted on the site.
“I know that the information posted on the Get Ready App is from highly-qualified healthcare professionals, so I can rely on the information on the App. For me this was very comforting. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet about bariatric surgery, so to have the access to information and resources that I trust is reassuring.”
The Get Ready mobile App has a ‘Chat’ function that enables swift communication with the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) at the hospital. Elke explained that the chat function is particularly helpful for patients who do not have the time to communicate directly with their hospital or for those patients who prefer to communicate via the App.
The Get Ready App is not only used before surgery, but as Elke explains, it is useful for uploading post-surgical information such as her weight, as well as a nutritional advice and a personalised schedule of her post-surgical physical exercise routines.
“As well as outlining when you should start physical exercises, the App has visual illustrations of how you should carry out the different exercises correctly. There is also psychological function that enables you to explain how you are feeling and App provides advice. For me, it was really reassuring to know that it was usual for patients to feel this way. In a way I felt I was not alone – that someone was with me on my journey. So, in many ways the App gave me the support and encouragement I needed. Using the App and having good communication with the hospital is a nice combination.”
The Get Ready App also has a series of ‘Dashboards’ and a ‘timeline’ that allows users to check their progress and see what daily or weekly tasks are required. In addition, there is also a ‘Library’ where users can access additional post-surgical educational information on complications, nutritional tips, exercise etc.
“Overall, I find the App extremely useful. You have your own personalised, post-surgical daily or weekly programme and tasks, so you do not have to ask the hospital ‘I am doing this right?’, ‘when should I do this?’, ‘when should I do that?’. You do not have to contact the hospital to ask questions or go on the internet to find answers. There is a lot of information contained within the App, so I find it is a great resource. One important message to patients using the App, is to remember that the App is a key library of information and is complementary to regular communication with your hospital’s MDT.”