Apple inks partnership with Zimmer Biomet to study joint replacement surgery

Grant Boone
October 18, 2018

Zimmer Biomet is also launching a clinical study examining the impact mymobility has on patient outcomes and the cost of joint replacements.

Over 1 million people in the US have knee and hip replacements each year.

"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.

Apple has been steadily adding health features to its eponymous watch.

Ultimately, the study will have the potential to enroll as many as 10,000 participants, according to a news release. With this partnership, the Apple Watch can be used by patients to send their own data to their doctors before and after their surgeries.

Participants will use Zimmer Biomet mymobility's Apple Watch app as a digital interactive care plan to help guide them in surgery preparation, recovery and rehab tasks.

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He called the effort "one of the largest evidence-gathering clinical studies in orthopaedic history".

The latest application from Zimmer Biomet is now being tested.

The mymobility app will allow surgeons and other clinicians to monitor health and activity in the period before and after surgery and send education and therapy reminders directly to the patient's Apple Watch. It includes educational resources, exercise videos and a way for patients to contact their surgeon and care team with questions and concerns.

"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 at Apple. The mymobility app will also help doctors track the health of patients who choose to stay at home after their surgery rather than going to health care centers. However, the company will make it available to everyone in the future. By contributing to a related study, Apple is getting involved in one of the biggest and fastest-growing segments of medicine. 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.

Apple has been working on new health initiatives for its users, announcing the Apple Watch Series 4 last month, which can detect heart problems, positioning the new watch as a more comprehensive health device.

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