PeerWell rolls out app to guide people through post-op recovery

By Heather Mack
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San Francisco-based PeerWell, which makes an app to guide people through surgery preparation called PreHab, now has a similar offering to help with post-surgical recovery.

Named simply ReHab, the first offering on the platform will be for people undergoing joint replacement surgery for the hip or knee. Since the first 90 days following such a surgery are critical, the app aims to help users manage their own recovery by completing daily exercises, pain management techniques and other personalized, interactive lessons.

Since ReHab only requires a smartphone to use, PeerWell believes it will be far easier and accessible for many recovering from surgery who may not have access to daily physical therapists, and who don’t want to use other post-operative rehabilitative plans that require consulting a lot of paperwork or extra devices.

"Some companies offer tele-rehab services using camera set-ups and other complicated devices to assess range of motion,” PeerWell CEO Manish Shah said in a statement. “Patients will be able to use our technology to complete physical therapy exercises anywhere and track their progress. Our ability to track complex motion straight from the smartphone will do for rehab what the integration of the camera into the phone did for photography."

The app was developed in part with NFL players Arian Foster and Glover Quin, who have both had their share of surgeries, but unlike most people, have full access to personal training equipment and on-demand physical therapists.

"Fifty million people have surgery every year and I've had 14 surgeries over my life," Foster said in a statement. "The most important part of every rehab process I've been through was regaining my range of motion -- my doctors were constantly assessing my motion to see if my recovery was on track."

Foster and Quin are working with PeerWell to help bring a virtual version of what they have access to when recovering from surgery. 

"In the NFL we get access to millions of dollars worth of training equipment and the best medical care," Quin said in a statement. "Our goal is to work with PeerWell to level the playing field for everyone."