Apple puts its watch to the test for outpatient monitoring

Apple is continuing its advance into the healthcare industry by testing its Apple Watch for monitoring patients before and after two common surgeries.

In a clinical trial, Apple and Zimmer Biomet will connect patients undergoing knee and hip replacement surgeries with their care teams through the Apple Watch, iPhone, and mymobility app.

"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," stated Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, in a press release. "We are proud to enable knee and hip replacement patients to use their own data and share it with their doctors seamlessly, so that they can participate in their care and recovery in a way not previously possible through traditional in-person visits."

Patients will use the app and watch to track their progress from presurgery through recovery, including by receiving timely educational information, surveys, and instructions for tasks and exercises. The surgical care teams can also use individuals' health and activity data to customize patient care.

Nearly 20 academic centers, hospitals, group practices, and ambulatory surgery centers have signed up to participate in the trial, and researchers plan to enroll up to 10,000 patients. They will then parse the data to understand the app's effect (or lack thereof) on surgical cost and patient outcomes.

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