Zimmer Biomet announced today that it will collaborate with Apple to help patients going through knee and hip replacement connect with their surgical providers using the Apple Watch and iPhone devices. As part of the team-up, the two companies have developed a new app called Zimmer Biomet mymobility and will kick off a new study meant to assess how that app affects clinical outcomes and costs for patients.
The app will work to connect joint replacement patients with surgical care teams once installed on the Apple Watch. Researchers will then blend feedback from users with the health and activity data from Apple Watch, all of which will be supplied to the mymobility app. As part of the study, as many as 10,000 patients in the U.S. are expected to sign up and the data to be collected will be used to develop standards for those surgical procedures.
Jeff Williams, Chief Operating Officer at Apple, said:
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. 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.
Zimmer projected the cases of knee and hip replacements in the U.S. to reach 3.5 million by 2035, while noting that standard care and recovery for the procedures remains inadequate and healthcare costs are at a steady increase.
With the mymobility app, surgeons will be able to provide education and therapy reminders to patients via their Apple Watch and monitor patient activity as they recover from surgery. Participating facilities in the clinical study include academic centers, hospitals, and ambulatory surgery centers.
It's not the first time, though, that the Apple Watch is used for clinical purposes. In 2015, a pilot program by King's College Hospital in London, England, used the wearable device to assist patients with cancer. The latest partnership between Apple and Zimmer demonstrates the Apple Watch and iPhone's wide application in the healthcare sector.