UAB expands use of virtual care technology

Posted by:
September 9, 2019

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System has expanded its use of a digital application for patients undergoing colorectal, gynecologic oncology, cardiac and thoracic surgeries.

SeamlessMD, a platform for patient engagement, remote monitoring and virtual care, was implemented in 2017 as a part of UAB’s Enhanced Recovery After Surgery initiative, which began with colorectal surgery. The ERAS program is a patient-centered approach to integrate evidence-based interventions across the entire surgical pathway, leading to better patient satisfaction and health outcomes.

“Surgery is often a confusing and overwhelming process for patients,” said Daniel Chu, M.D., UAB’s ERAS medical director and associate professor in the Department of Surgery. “Our patients can stay connected on their desktops, laptops and mobile devices with SeamlessMD so they are engaged with the recovery process both before and after surgery.” 

With this expansion, UAB now provides a digital experience that guides more patients from surgery preparation through recovery. Patients can access the digital application through their mobile phone, tablet or computer, and they receive reminders to help them follow the ERAS care plan. Patients can also access an education library to learn about what to expect from their surgery and the recovery process. Upon discharge from the hospital, patients can report their pain scores, symptoms and wound photos from their own devices, enabling them to stay connected with the care team.

“The many unknowns around surgery can cause a lot of anxiety for patients and their families,” said Haller Smith, M.D., a fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “We can help reduce that anxiety by providing easy access to information through a platform that helps patients prepare for surgery and to know what to expect when they get home. The daily health checks within the app are very helpful as they can either reassure a patient that their recovery is on track, or prompt them to contact their surgical team to flag issues that are outside of the norm, hopefully enabling us to catch any potential complications early.”

Trina Smith, lead certified registered nurse practitioner for the cardiovascular surgery clinic, wants to see how the technology will impact UAB’s cardiac program.

“We need tools to objectively assess how we can provide the highest standard of care,” she said. “Patient-reported outcomes and compliance data collected by the SeamlessMD platform will enable us to pinpoint where we need to focus our attention for quality improvement.”

In addition to patient engagement, UAB aims to increase patient compliance with ERAS protocols, which is correlated with faster recovery times. The UAB Health System will leverage the technology to deliver a standardized ERAS pathway, as well as personalized educational resources for each patient based on their unique medical profile.

“We are thrilled to partner with UAB to scale the platform across many departments within the UAB Health System, helping more patients and effecting positive change for the industry,” said SeamlessMD CEO Joshua Liu, M.D.

About UAB
Known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center, as well as Alabama’s largest employer, with some 23,000 employees, and has an annual economic impact exceeding $7 billion on the state. The five pillars of UAB’s mission include education, research, patient care, community service and economic development. UAB is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Center for Translational Science Award. Learn more at UAB: Powered by will.

About SeamlessMD
SeamlessMD is the #1 platform for patient engagement, remote monitoring, and virtual care used by health systems to engage, educate and track patients before, during and after a procedure. Evidence from academic medical centers has shown SeamlessMD to reduce hospital length of stay, readmissions, ER visits, SNF use, and costs. The platform is accessible for patients via smartphone, tablet or computer, and keeps patients on track from preparation through recovery with reminders, multimedia education, progress tracking, and Patient-Reported Outcomes data collection. Providers can access real-time dashboards to measure compliance and outcomes, intervene sooner for patients at-risk, and drive quality improvement across the organization. For more information, please visit:

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