New study uses Apple Watch to help patients recovering from knee joint replacements


    Local surgeons are getting some high-tech help to help patients heal. It's all part of a pilot study at Beacon Orthopaedics. (WKRC)

    CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Local surgeons are getting some high-tech help to help patients heal. It's all part of a pilot study at Beacon Orthopaedics.

    The team there is one of the first in the country to participate in this new study.

    After years in pain, Cindy Price just had her second knee joint replaced. She says this rehabilitation is going much better than the first. That's because, as her orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Haleem Chaudhary said, she knew what to expect and what questions to ask.

    For those who don't know those answers, there's now a watch for that.

    "It's already been designed by Zimmer Biomet, which is a company that we are using along with Apple," Dr. Chaudhary said.

    Dr. Chaudhary's team is one of 16 health centers across the country hoping to recruit 10,000 patients nationwide to wear the watch.

    "We are using the Apple Watch to guide knee-replacement patients through their surgery," he said.

    As part of a pilot study, patients are given a temporary watch and video instructions on how to use it with their phone.

    "So they would get that in the mail and start wearing it, and we'll use that watch to prompt them, to educate them, both pre-op, monitor their post-operative progress, and then we get to communicate with them in real time," said Dr. Chaudhary.

    The goal is to improve everything from results to recovery.

    "We can also help prevent adverse events, because the new watch has a heart rate monitor and EKG function, so if anything is going wrong, we'll know about it sooner," Dr. Chaudhary said.

    The hope is that this instant communication can help in healing. You can also take videos and pictures to send to your doctor. It also might help you get instant answers to medical questions.

    This study just launched, so no local patients are enrolled yet. It's a two-year study and you can find more information about it here, or you can learn more about Beacon Orthopaedics here.

    Right now, they are using this for knee joints. It is expected to be expanded for other medical procedures.

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