Apple Partners With Zimmer Biomet To Monitor Hip And Knee Replacement Recovery With Apple Watch

Apple is working hard to position the new Apple Watch Series 4 wearable as a state of the art health monitoring device. Moving beyond the gadget and Apple fan crowd into the medical device and health monitoring market could certainly expand the reach of the wearable. Apple's latest watch has FDA approved EKG monitoring inside along with fall detection. The fall detection feature can dial out in an emergency for the elderly; that feature was recently tested by a stunt woman and found to function as promised.

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Apple has announced that it has teamed up with medical device maker Zimmer Biomet on a new app that runs on the Apple Watch that aims to gather data on patients who have had knee or hip replacements. The two companies are also working together on a clinical study; the goal of the study is to determine why certain patients recover faster than others from knee and hip replacement. With over a million Americans getting hip or knee replacement surgeries each year, this is an important area of study.

Zimmer Biomet isn’t exactly a household name, but it is among the largest manufacturers of the medical components used in knee and hip replacements. The app that Apple and Zimmer Biomet have created is called mymobility, with the goal to help guide the patient through the surgery and improve their experience and outcome post-surgery. The app integrates educational resources, exercise videos, and gives an easy way for the patient to contact their care team after the surgery with questions or concerns.

The goal for Apple and Zimmer Biomet is to enroll 10,000 people in the U.S. study. Initially, the app will only be available to those in the study; if patients participating in the study don’t have an Apple Watch, they will be given one for the duration of the project. Eventually, the two firms plan to roll the app out to everyone. Apple participated in a major study previously with cooperation from Stanford University to test if the Apple Watch could detect a heart condition called atrial fibrillation; that study was a success, and the new Apple Watch Series 4 has the EKG monitoring feature embedded as a result. Another study with Apple and the University of California San Francisco found that the Apple Watch heart rate monitor could detect high blood pressure and sleep apnea.