Medical Moment: The app helping patients with hip, knee replacements

Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 5:45 PM EDT
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Almost 1.7 million people will undergo a knee or hip replacement this year.

Recovery is quicker than ever before.

Now, new technology is allowing patients and their doctors to track their progress without coming into the office.

“In the summer I do biking, a little bit of swimming,” Denise Erhart said. “A lot of hiking and walking and some golf.”

But it was Denise Erhart’s job that caused her to live in unbearable pain.

“I was a nurse in the hospital setting for 40 years, so my knees took a lot of wear and tear,” Erhart recalled.

After living in pain for two years, Denise opted for a total knee replacement.

Orthopedic surgeon Jeffrey DeClaire performed the procedure and offered a unique way to track her progresses through her Apple watch.

“It will track step counts, stride length, heart rate, and a variety of other data points that we don’t normally track as a surgeon,” Dr. DeClaire said.

Dr. DeClaire is one of the first to use the “My Mobility” app, a remote patient monitoring method that gives real data on what patients are, and aren’t, doing.

“We can send text messages, photos, and video,” Dr. DeClaire explained. “We track this data daily, and real time, which we can intervene at any point to see how a patient is progressing.

“So many times it’s hard to get ahold of the person you really want to talk to and to get that rapid response back was incredible.” Erhart said.

Denise believes it helped her recover faster.

“It’s great now! I have no pain when I walk,” Erhart said.

She’s now ready to get back to doing all the things she loves.