New tech helps hip, knee replacement patients recover faster

Published: November 28, 2022 4:59 PM EST

Almost 1.7 million people will undergo a knee or hip replacement this year.

Recovery is quicker than ever before. And now, new technology allows patients and their doctors to track their progress without coming into the office.

“In the summer, I do biking, a little bit of swimming, a lot of hiking and walking and some golf,” said Denise Erhart.

But it was Denise’s job that caused her to live in unbearable pain.

“I was a nurse in the hospital setting for 40 years, so my knees took a lot of wear and tear,” Denise said.

After living in pain for two years, Denise opted for a total knee replacement.

Orthopedic surgeon Jeffrey DeClaire performed the procedure and offered a unique way to track her progress through her Apple watch.

“It will track step counts, stride length, heart rate, and a variety of other data points that we don’t normally track as a surgeon,” said DeClaire, founder at the Michigan Knee Institute.

DeClaire is one of the first to use the My Mobility app, a remote patient monitoring method, to give him real data on what his patients are and are not doing.

“We can send text messages, photos and video. We track this data daily, and real-time, which we can intervene at any point to see how a patient is progressing,” DeClaire said.

“So many times it’s hard to get ahold of the person you really wanna talk to and to get that rapid response back was incredible,” Denise said.

Denise believes it helped her recover faster and she said she now has no pain when she walks.

She’s now ready to get back to doing everything she loves.

Doctors say the program’s benefits include improved patient satisfaction and possible savings since patients don’t need to participate in traditional physical therapy programs. In addition, data collected will help researchers determine the types of patients who benefit from at-home rehabilitation guided by advanced technology. The app is free to patients who had knee or hip replacement from physicians who utilize it. The clinical trial is ongoing. To find a site near you, log on to ZBmymobility.com.