Focusing on You: Wearable Device Helps Knee Replacement Patients

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UHealth studies TracPatch for faster recovery post knee replacement surgery from home.

Victor H. Hernandez, M.D., M.S., the Division Chief of Joint Replacement at the University of Miami Health System, explains how new technology through a wearable device is helping patients like Alina Schuh recover faster from knee replacement surgery, from home.

This is her story:

Alina Schuh was sidelined when a knee condition made it harder to walk.

“Zero quality of life. I lived in fear of every step,” says Alina.

After having traditional knee replacement surgery two years ago, Alina needed her left knee replaced. She went to see UHealth orthopedic surgeon Victor H. Hernandez, M.D., M.S., who is using a new device called the TracPatch to monitor patients’ progress, post-surgery, from home.

“The TracPatch is a wearable device,” says Dr. Hernandez. “It’s able to record via Bluetooth to your iPhone things like steps, range of motion, and motion after surgery.”

Patients place the surface sensors on the side of their knee, follow the exercises on the app, and the data is sent in real-time to their doctor.

“I was able to track these patients and see how they were performing. They can send me wound pictures. They can send me if the leg is swollen; if they have concerns with anything,” Dr. Hernandez says.

UHealth is one of two centers nationwide conducting a clinical trial using the TracPatch versus standard physical therapy. So far, patients using the device have cut their recovery time from three months to four to six weeks!

“Alina how easy is the TracPatch to use?” asks anchor Pam Giganti.

“It gives you tutorials of the exercises, just hit the exercise that you want to do,” Alina says.

Alina credits Dr. Hernandez and the entire UHealth team for getting her back on her feet fast. “They are a teaching hospital, they're always on the edge of technology,” says Alina.


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