ibusinesslines.com November 14, 2018

The Apple Watch is being used to study joint replacement patients

18 October 2018, 07:54 | Melissa Porter

More than one million knee and hip replacements occur annually in the US

Apple Watch can now connect hip patients to doctors

Thus, Apple Watch along with mymobility app in partnership with Zimmer Biomet could prove instrumental in the care and recovery of the patients. Estimates peg the number of Americans who get hip and knee replacement surgeries at more than 1 million a year. The app associated with the study will be available for these participants only, however, once the study concludes successful, Apple would roll out the app and the associated tools for all the Apple Watch users. Apple's latest watch has FDA approved EKG monitoring inside along with fall detection.

Ultimately, the study will have the potential to enroll as many as 10,000 participants, according to a news release.

The mymobility app, launched Monday by Apple and orthopedic manufacturer Zimmer Biomet, lets patients send and receive messages to and from surgeons and care teams.

"We are incredibly excited to work with Apple to transform the knee and hip replacement experience for patients and surgeons", Bryan Hanson, president and CEO of Zimmer Biomet, said in a statement. The data will be used by healthcare professionals to determine why some patients recover faster from these surgeries than others. The application connects patients to their surgical care team for adjustments and corrections to their care plan as well as additional educational information and reminders from clinicians.

Four hospitals and more than a dozen other medical facilities in states including Massachusetts, California, Colorado and MI will receive stats including heart rate, steps taken and standing hours from patients waiting for or recovering from hip and knee replacement surgery.

He called the effort "one of the largest evidence-gathering clinical studies in orthopaedic history". Furthermore, the app has a messaging platform that enables patients to communicate with their physicians anytime.

This is not the first time the Apple Watch's health features have made it part of a study.

Last year, Apple also partnered with Stanford Medicine in another study to find out how Apple Watch could be utilized in detecting irregular heartbeats.

Knee and hip replacements are big business for hospitals and payers, and services that can improve recovery and help to lower costs stand to profit nicely. Apple also donated 1000 units of Apple Watch to the University of North Carolina to study eating disorder or binge eating.

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