The Apple Watch is being used to study joint replacement patients

Hip and Knee Surgeons Use Apple Watch to Monitor Patients

In yet another potential use case for Apple Watch, Apple is partnering with Zimmer Biomet to study the device in supporting patients before and after knee and hip replacement surgery.

Medical device company Zimmer Biomet and Apple announced their new partnership on Monday. Both companies are also cooperating on a clinical study.

The latest application from Zimmer Biomet is now being tested. Its goal is to guide patients before and after their procedures. The app offers exercise videos, educational resources and a way for patients to contact their surgeon and care team with questions. Patients will be provided with support and guidance as they prepare for and recover from these surgeries, while surgeons will be delivered continuous data to optimize care. Apple's latest Apple Watch, unveiled last month, includes an FDA-cleared and embedded ECG, as well as a feature that monitors users for hard falls and alerts emergency services within 60 seconds. They will also allow patients to share the data with their doctors to help them make informed decisions. "For example, if a patient is concerned about the level of pain, the care team could see that the patient walked five miles the previous day, so the problem may be overexertion rather than a serious complication".

"We believe one of the best ways to empower consumers is by giving them the ability to use their health and activity information to improve their own care", said Jeff Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Apple.

Apple and Zimmer Biomet are also working on a clinical study to go side by side with the app, which will note how mymobility impacts the well-being and recovery of the patients but also the costs.

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For now, four hospitals and several other medical facilities in Michigan, Colorado, Massachusetts and California will receive stats from the app. However, the app will be released publicly some time in the future.

"We are incredibly excited to work with Apple to transform the knee and hip replacement experience for patients and surgeons", said Bryan Hanson, President and CEO, Zimmer Biomet.

One of those projects involves Apple having agreed to give away 1,000 watches to help with a study that will track binge-eating.

Over 1 million people in the US have knee and hip replacements each year. Citing the aging of the population, the figures representing the people getting knee and hip replacement surgeries is bound to increase. Furthermore, the app has a messaging platform that enables patients to communicate with their physicians anytime. Using that data, the wearable manufacturer concluded that patients who reach the milestone of 1,000 steps in the days after their surgery are likely to be discharged sooner. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, at least 30 million people in the United States have some kind of eating disorder, and one hope is the new study reliant on Apple Watch could help researchers predict an episode of binge-eating before it happens.

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