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Three Companies Expand Patient Engagement Offerings and Digital Tools

The emphasis on healthcare costs 90 days after total knee replacement (TKR) has led companies to launch patient engagement tools that help hospitals and surgeons improve patient outcomes and control spend (and keep the companies competitive in the market). Multiple app- and web-based recovery programs have emerged, and we expect that more orthopaedic device companies will enter this space as bundled payments continue to gain traction. Three new launches were made during a two-day span earlier this month; we highlight those products here.

Claris Healthcare launched Claris Reflex, a coaching system designed to monitor recovery of TKR patients over 65 years of age. Reflex serves orthopaedic centers covered by the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement, Bundled Payments for Care Improvement and private insurance bundled payment initiatives, as a measure to help maximize profits and reduce re-admissions. On the patient side, the system offers an activity sensor and tablet that track movement, temperature, exercise, etc., and deliver simple daily guidance through a recovery program. Providers access real-time progress and compliance data. Secure communication tools allow patient/provider interaction. The interactive technology is based on Claris' previous platforms for social and chronic care, with a particular focus on the management of older patients. 

Consensus Orthopedics and wearable tech company, CUER Australia, co-founded TracPatch Australia to distribute Consensus' wearable technology in Australia and New Zealand, and to develop opportunities in the Oceania region. Consensus launched TracPatch in 1Q17. Placed on the lower leg just below the knee, the device sends activity data such as range of motion (ROM), ambulation, exercise compliance and wound site temperature measurements to healthcare providers. The provider can track progress and adjust post-surgical activities and rehab goals, especially during the six-week recovery period. A patient-focused mobile app sends exercise reminders and ROM tests. 

Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions introduced Health Partner, its latest platform of digital tools to prepare patients for hip or knee surgery. The tools leverage behavior change strategies that are designed to enhance the patient's engagement in pre- and post-op compliance, thus potentially supporting improved outcomes, reduced length of stay and fewer readmissions. (There is also a suite of tools for weight management.) Health Partner comprises an educational website, mobile app and provider portal, intended to build patient confidence while facilitating communication and offering real-time progress data and analysis for the healthcare system.