Keeping U connected through post-surgery app


“I focus a lot of energy on treating the patient as a whole person,” explains Dr. Anne Lin, a colon and rectal surgeon at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. “When I meet patients, often they already have the diagnosis of colon cancer. I talk to them about the next steps in their care. I tell them about the operation and what care will be like during their hospitalization and after their surgery. We have been using an app to help patients with their transition out of the hospital. We try to connect with patients with us during this vulnerable post-discharge time using a remote monitoring application.”

Dr. Lin developed the monitoring app with UCLA Health as a way to allow patients to send messages directly to their physician. She further explains, “We, the doctors, curate the questions sent for that particular patient and their problems. The patients have daily tasks, they can take photos of their wounds, and we are alerted of any early warning signs of an infection. The goal of the app is to enable patients to be more active participants in their care. It helps patients be more comfortable with the entire recovery process, and they’re empowered to improve their health. We’ve dramatically reduced emergency department visits and readmissions through the use of this app. It’s been a really wonderful thing because the patients feel connected to us. I feel like I have an understanding of where my patients are, and it helps me feel more comfortable about releasing them. In a hospital, they’re monitored really well, but then they go home and there is no monitoring. Knowing there will continue to be an exchange makes me feel very comfortable.”

Learn more about colon cancer screening options and make an appointment at UCLA Health.