What are Orthopedic Wearables for Joint Replacement?
Orthopedic wearables for joint replacement are innovative, state-of-the-art electronic devices recommended for patients who have undergone joint replacement, such as total knee arthroplasty, to facilitate faster recovery post knee replacement surgery.
Total knee arthroplasty, commonly known as total knee replacement, is a surgical procedure in which all worn out or damaged surfaces of the knee joint are removed and replaced with new artificial parts. Full recovery from a traditional knee replacement takes about 3 to 4 months and carries possible risks such as knee stiffness and infection during this recovery period. Use of orthopedic wearables helps in early detection and intervention of adverse events, such as stiff knee and surgical site infections, as well as allowing patients and doctors to monitor the recovery while patients are recovering in the comfort of at-home rehabilitation.
Components of Orthopedic Wearables
Orthopedic wearable devices involve 3 components, namely:
- Intuitive app for patients and healthcare providers: This app motivates patients with tools and information to stay engaged with their rehabilitation program at home while staying connected to their doctor, maximizing the success of recovery goals. It also empowers providers with data and assists with making evidence-based recommendations that ensure improved patient satisfaction, optimal care, cost containment, and overall progress in the patient’s recovery.
- Innovative surface sensor technology: This component helps to monitor the joint range of motion, steps, and temperature of the wound with compact, easy-to-attach sensors that safely upload real-time data that is accessible via the orthopedic wearable device apps and web portal, enabling physicians to customize patients’ recovery course throughout the care program to optimize the possibility of successful rehabilitation.
- Quality data, tools, and support: This component provides real-time, accurate patient data and engagement enabling physicians to effectively customize patient recovery goals. It helps providers monitor patient compliance and early detection of infection/arthrofibrosis (knee stiffness) and personalize patient care to optimize results while reducing high-cost readmissions.
How do Orthopedic Wearables Work?
Orthopedic wearable devices comprise of a wearable sensor, secured below and above the knee, and a software platform. You will be furnished with a 4G-enabled tablet that comprises pre-surgical preparation and post-surgical guidance, along with real-time response from the sensor. The wearable sensors are comparatively small, can be worn 24/7 throughout recovery, and automatically transmit data when in the range of the corresponding tablet. The sensor is able to measure your icing temperature, exercise compliance, body position, and each extension and bend of the knee. In the meantime, your physician can see your rehabilitation progress including steps, range of motion, and motion after surgery in real-time, as well as receive recovery alerts via an online dashboard. The device platform also provides direct photo, text, and video communications between yourself and your provider.
So far, there have not been any devices developed to record progress in the care of total knee arthroplasty patients recuperating at home, as well as any crucial information available indicating what patients are really doing outside of the clinic. Orthopedic wearable devices fill this purpose by helping patients through their recovery and providing healthcare providers relevant data about patients’ activity levels and compliance. With these features, orthopedic wearables for joint replacement promotes better home recovery and remote monitoring, providing a platform that enhances patient compliance and minimizes the cost of traditional recovery. Using orthopedic wearables can reduce the recovery time of a standard knee replacement from 3 months to 4 to 6 weeks.