Using home sensing technology to assess outcome and recovery after joint replacement – findings from the hip and knee study of a sensor platform of healthcare in a residential environment

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Purpose: Improving outcomes after joint replacement is a key research priority. After joint replacement, up to 30% of patients report minimal improvement or their symptoms get worse and not all patients are satisfied with their outcome. Poor outcomes include continuing pain, functional limitation and increased healthcare utilisation. Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) such as the Oxford Hip or Oxford Knee Score and the EQ-5D, a measure of health status, are widely used to assess outcome after joint replacement in practice and research. These measures can assess a variety of health outcomes including pain, function and health related quality of life. Though widely used, many PROMs have methodological limitations and there is debate about how to interpret results and definitions of clinically meaningful change. Previously, research has explored the relationship between PROMs and objective measures, such as timed walks or sit-to-stand tests. Such objective measures are administered in controlled, laboratory style settings, and may not reflect levels of activity in daily life. With the rapid development of monitoring technology, there is opportunity to characterise the relationship between PROMs and behaviour in a natural setting and to develop methods of passive monitoring of outcome and recovery after surgery. We are working with a multidisciplinary team which has developed a system of low powered sensors that can monitor the health-related behaviours of people living at home. The system includes: sensors for the home environment (measuring temperature, humidity, room occupancy, water and electricity usage) a wrist-band body-worn activity monitor and silhouette (body outline) sensors. The SPHERE system of sensors is now being installed in 100 homes belonging to the general population. Within this cohort we are installing the system in the homes of 20 patients who are about to undergo a total hip or knee replacement (THR/TKR). The study aims to: (a) determine to what extent the sensory data obtained from the SPHERE system is comparable to data obtained from routine clinical measures and PROMs in the assessment of patients' activity, function and recovery processes; (b) investigate whether the sensory data can detect meaningful changes in recovery.

Methods: To assess the accuracy and usefulness of the sensory data, in this 1-year observational study, patients will be provided with the sensor system to monitor and record daily continuous measurements. We will make and refine appropriate data learning outcomes with the quantitative data e.g., daily measurements in the weeks parallel to the distribution of PROM assessments pre/post-operative (4–9 days, 6 and 12 weeks) and weekly measurements during the other months. The study will assess the relationships between environmental, behavioural and movement data and the parameters of interest from the PROMs assessments over time. Interviews and focus groups with patients and health professional will provide qualitative data and achieve depth in understanding the accuracy of the data, its usefulness for health professionals in decision making, and if the technology is acceptable.

Results: The SPHERE sensor system has been installed in the homes of two patients. We aim to recruit up to 20 patients, (aged 18 years or over) whom are due to undergo a TKR or THR in the UK.

Conclusions: This study will provide a unique understanding of home and wearable sensor technology in an orthopaedic population and will compare sensor data with current PROMs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstracts from the 2018 OARSI World Congress on Osteoarthritis - Promoting Clinical and Basic Research in Osteoarthritis
Subtitle of host publication26-29 April 2018 - ACC Congress Center Liverpool, United Kingdom
PublisherElsevier Science
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2018

Publication series

NameOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
ISSN (Print)1063-4584

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Surgical Research


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