As part of the alliance, the partners have devised the Zimmer Biomet mymobility app, with the aim of using Apple Watch to improve how patients communicate with their surgical care teams.
Zimmer Biomet will also conduct a mymobility Clinical Study that has been designed to assess the impact of the new app on outcomes and overall costs in nearly 10,000 joint replacement patients in the US.
The study participants will use the Zimmer Biomet mymobility app with Apple Watch as they prepare for or recover from a hip or knee replacement. Participants will be able to send and receive messages to and from surgeons and can access exercise videos and reminders.
Patient-reported feedback obtained during the study will be combined with continuous health and activity data from Apple Watch. This integrated data is expected to offer new insights into the mymobility app and its impact on the standard of care for the surgeries.
Zimmer Biomet president and CEO Bryan Hanson said: “We are incredibly excited to work with Apple to transform the knee and hip replacement experience for patients and surgeons.
“At Zimmer Biomet, we are committed to improving care decisions through digital health and we are thrilled to launch one of the largest evidence-gathering clinical studies in orthopaedic history.”
The Zimmer Biomet mymobility app is intended to act as a virtual and continuous care team which provides support and guidance to patients undergoing surgeries.
It will leverage Apple Watch and iPhone to enable surgeons to send education and therapy reminders directly to the patient. The app also facilitates the monitoring of patient activity levels.
Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams said: “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.
“This solution will connect consumers with their doctors continuously, before and after surgery.”
This is not the first time that Apple has pushed for its Apple Watch to enter the medical device market. Apple and Android watches have previously used artificial intelligence to detect diabetes and monitor major depressive disorder (MDD).