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Penn Medicine will participate in a national study that will test if the use of Apple Watches and mobile health apps can make recovery more efficient in patients with hip and knee replacements.

The study, administered by Apple and medical device company Zimmer Biomet Holdings, aims to determine whether the mobile application mHealth can be paired with the activity monitoring capabilities of the Apple watch to make recovery more efficient, according to Zimmer Biomet.

The mobile application will allow doctors to send important information and reminders to their patients, who in turn can electronically update their physicians on their condition. The two companies hope that this technology will allow patients to simplify and expedite their recovery processes.

Penn joins other universities, including the academic health systems of the University of Utah and Emory University, in the study, mHealth Intelligence reported. Approximately 10,000 knee and hip surgery patients from across the country are expected to participate.

Penn Medicine’s participation in the survey is the latest in their efforts to integrate technological innovation with healthcare provision. Recently, Penn Medicine introduced a new initiative called PennChart to facilitate the access of electronic health records for clinicians to speed up patient treatment.

Penn Medicine’s Center for Health Care Innovation established mHealth labs in 2016 to improve the quality of medical practices through technological advancements. Research at the mHealth labs involves student collaboration from various facets of the University, including medical, nursing, engineering, and public health students.

Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said in a press release that he hopes the study will have positive effects on patients, in terms of both recovery and personal empowerment.

“We believe one of the best ways to empower consumers is by giving them the ability to use their health and activity information to improve their own care,” Williams said.

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