Mobile devices and wearable technology for measuring patient outcomes after surgery: a systematic review

Stephen R Knight, N NG, Thanasis Tsanas, Kenneth McLean, Claudia Pagliari, Ewen M Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Complications following surgery are common and frequently occur following discharge. Mobile and wearable digital health interventions (DHI) provide an opportunity to monitor and support patients during their postoperative recovery. Lack of high-quality evidence is often cited as a barrier to DHI implementation. This review captures and appraises the current use, evidence base and reporting quality of mobile and wearable DHI following surgery. Keyword searches were performed within Embase, Cochrane library, Web of Science and WHO Global Index Medicus databases, together with clinical trial registries and Google scholar. Studies involving patients undergoing any surgery requiring skin incision where postoperative outcomes were measured using a DHI following hospital discharge were included, with DHI defined as mobile and wireless technologies for health to improve health system efficiency and health outcomes. Methodological reporting quality was determined using the validated mobile health evidence reporting and assessment (mERA) guidelines. Bias was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration tool for randomised studies or MINORS depending on study type. Overall, 6969 articles were screened, with 44 articles included. The majority (n=34) described small prospective study designs, with a high risk of bias demonstrated. Reporting standards were suboptimal across all domains, particularly in relation to data security, prior patient engagement and cost analysis. Despite the potential of DHI to improve postoperative patient care, current progress is severely restricted by limitations in methodological reporting. There is an urgent need to improve reporting for DHI following surgery to identify patient benefit, promote reproducibility and encourage sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Journalnpj Digital Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2021


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