Wearable assists home recovery after total knee replacement surgery

By Dave Muoio
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Vancouver and Washington-based Claris Healthcare has launched an orthopedic medical device that allows patients and doctors to monitor recovery after total knee replacement surgery.

The Claris Reflex consists of a wearable sensor, attached above and below the knee, and a software platform. Patients are provided a 4G-enabled tablet that includes pre-surgical preparation and post-surgical guidance, as well as real-time feedback from the sensor. Meanwhile, providers can view their patient’s rehabilitation progress in real time and receive recovery alerts through an online dashboard. The platform also facilitates direct text, photo, and video communications between patients and the providers.

“Until now, there really haven't been any significant advancements in the care of total knee replacement patients at home. And equally as important, there hasn't been any data available indicating what patients are actually doing outside of the clinic,” Geof Auchinleck, CEO of Claris Healthcare, told MobiHealthNews in an email. “We designed Claris Reflex to both help coach older (65+) patients through their recovery, and provide caregivers meaningful data about their compliance and activity levels.”

The wearable sensors are relatively small, can be worn 24-7 throughout recovery, and will automatically transmit when, and only when, in range of the corresponding tablet. The sensor itself is capable of measuring a patient’s body position, icing temperature, exercise compliance, and each bend and extension of the knee.

According to the statement, Claris Reflex is available under bundled payment programs for total knee replacement, such as Medicare’s Bunded Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Initiative or its Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model. In addition, Claris Reflex’s software component exists as a module of the company’s larger patient care platform. This includes a number of tools for remote monitoring and collaboration, health care team administration, communications, chronic and social care, and more.

With these features in tow, Auchinleck said that Claris Reflex better facilitates home recovery and remote monitoring, offering a platform that “improves patient compliance and reduces the cost of traditional recovery.”

In-home total knee replacement surgery recovery is also the subject of an ongoing clinical trial being conducted by researchers at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Titled the Virtual Exercise Rehabilitation In-Home Therapy: A Research Study (VERITAS), this investigation is exploring the efficacy of San Diego-based digital healthcare company Reflexion Health’s on-demand rehabilitative therapy program, Vera, across six different US research sites and 300 participants. Vera, which is FDA-cleared, acts as a virtual assistant guiding users through prescribed physical therapy exercises and uses 3D monitors to measure and record each surgery patient’s performance.