• Easy-to-follow exercises with visual and auditory cues developed by SingHealth physiotherapists
• New exercise prescription feature will be available from April 2016

SingHealth launched a new mobile application known as KneeBuddy today to help patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) gain greater control over their condition.

According to figures from the World Health Organization, the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis (OA) has been on the rise over the past decade and is one of the top 10 most disabling diseases in developed countries. In Singapore, it is one of the five leading causes of disability.

The aim of the mobile app is to help prevent further deterioration of the condition and assist those who require surgery in their post-operation recovery. It features easy-to-follow exercises developed specifically for knee OA, a comprehensive guide on knee replacement surgery and post-surgery care as well as topics such as causes, symptoms, treatments of knee OA and health tips to improve knee care.

“For people suffering from knee OA or knee pain, regular exercise can help alleviate their condition. The challenge for some patients is in maintaining a routine and remembering the different types of exercises. With the KneeBuddy App, they will benefit from having information and a step-by-step exercise guide at their fingertips,” said Professor Celia Tan, Group Director, Group Allied Health, SingHealth.

The app acts as a useful and convenient resource, containing audio and visual cues to help users recall the exercises and complete them accurately and effectively.

Screenshot of the KneeBuddy App

KneeBuddy was developed by a team comprising physiotherapists, orthopaedic surgeons, nurses, pharmacists and healthcare administrators from SingHealth.

To improve and personalise the user experience, the team is working on a series of new features that will be introduced in April 2016. One of the highlights is an exercise prescription feature which allows SingHealth physiotherapists to use the app to assign patients their home exercise programme after each rehabilitation session. With the feature, patients will be able to view their personalised, exercise programme and track their progress, providing an online record on their phones before their next review session.

"A lot of our patients are very anxious about coming forward with their knee pain. Some of it is cost of treatment, the type of treatment. They're also worried about after-surgery and after-hospitalisation care - the lack of social support is a major concern,” said Dr Mohd Mizan Marican, Associate Consultant at the Singapore General Hospital's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, who was involved in the app's development.

"I hope that with the use of this app, a lot of anxiety is reduced and the patients are more likely to seek medical help sooner rather than later."

KneeBuddy is now available for free at the App Store for iOS devices and Google Play Store for Android devices.