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YOUR HEALTH: Your next therapist could be an app

IRVINE, California – Millions of Americans get knee or hip replacements every year.

Now, patients in a clinical trial don`t have to go to their physical therapist for rehab.

Gavin Cameron-Webb hardly limps at all now.   That wasn't the case before his knee replacement three weeks ago.

"My knee was giving me a lot of trouble. There was pain, and I couldn't walk far."

Hoag Orthopedic Institute's Dr. Steven Barnett has Gavin in the mymobility trial run by Zimmer BioMet and Apple.

They're testing a watch and an app to help patients do their rehab exercises conveniently, and hopefully, often.

MYMOBILITY APP:   The new app, called mymobility, is on iPhone and iWatch to help patients with rehab.   It records a lot of vital statistics like distance traveled, heart rate, and various data points, that allows us as the surgeon and practitioner to track how they're doing remotely.   Patients will begin using the app the day after surgery.   The app has different modules that give patients goals and milestones to reach.

The app has a range of exercise videos and other information, even for pre-op patients.    The watch reminds patients to exercise and sends back information to the doctor.

"We can literally log in to the patient's account daily, see how far they've walked, see if they've done their exercises, and it allows us to keep close tabs on them, especially in that immediate post-operative period," explained orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steven Barnett.

"The concept is that patients will be able to do their therapy daily without requiring a home visit."  - Dr. Stephen Barnett

Gavin does his exercises three times a day and sees improvement every day.

He has big plans.

"I want to get back on the racquetball court, I want to get on the tennis court with my wife, and I want to be able to walk again in London."

The app gives Gavin six to eight weeks of exercises, but he'll wear the watch for a year to give doctors recovery information.

Dr. Barnett says compliance is good with mymobility participants.

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.

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