In ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), nerves in the spinal cord and brain die. As a result, muscles no longer work properly and patients become increasingly weak. After the first symptoms, patients live an average of three to five years. It is important for patients to maintain as much control as possible themselves. With the ALS app, rehabilitators can keep track of how they are doing at home and also report this via the app. This gives them and their care providers better insight into the course of the disease. This data also helps to provide the patient with the information and treatment that is appropriate for the situation.
ALS app: ease of use, short lines and fewer trips
In January 2022, the use of the app was started at these two Revant locations in Zeeland. A survey among users shows that the app is well received. The ease of use was assessed with an average of a solid nine. There was also great appreciation for the quick response of the care coach to notifications in the app. People were satisfied with the insight that the app offers into their own data. They also see that there are short lines and that thanks to the app they don’t have to meet as often on location. All in all, the use of this ALS app is successful, according to the rehabilitation center.
This is how the ALS app works in practice
The patient monitors how things are going on the ALS Home Measurement & Coaching platform (the app). For this, the patient fills in daily how he or she feels and whether any problems are experienced. Every week there is also a weight registration and once a month a questionnaire is completed about physical functioning. The patient also has the option to ask questions directly to the care coach via the app. In addition, the patient receives links via the platform to information about topics that are relevant in the particular situation. The care coach and the rehabilitation doctor review the measurements every week. If there is reason to do so, for example because the patient has asked a question, the care coach will contact the patient by telephone or via the app.
Rehabilitation apps increasingly used
In practice, more and more rehabilitation physicians and practitioners are using apps to support people in their rehabilitation. In this way, it is increasingly possible to respond to the personal wishes of a client. An example is the CureYou cardiac rehabilitation app of the Thorax Center Twente of hospital MST and the Enschede Pro-F, Professional Physiotherapy. With this interactive app, a rehabilitation program can be tailor-made for every heart patient.
We see another example at the Amphia Hospital. Patients who have to rehabilitate there after knee or hip surgery have been able to do so for the most part at home for a year now. The hospital started the digital, online rehabilitation program moveUP in January 2021. The first experiences and reactions to the app, from both patients and healthcare providers, are positive.