After hip surgery, patient compliance with home-based physical rehab prescriptions can speed recovery and improve mobility. Most patients start physical therapy during the first week after discharge from the hospital and attend two sessions a week for three to six weeks. After each session the physical therapist typically sends you home with printed exercise instructions. That was my experience when I had direct anterior left total hip replacement (LTHR) in 2020. I only went for five PT sessions and was assiduous with the home exercise. My recovery was relatively quick due to the direct anterior surgical method. My wife gets the credit for my home exercise adherence. My physical therapist told me that they assume most THR patients won’t be diligent with home exercises.

The New York state health care network Essen Health Care recently announced its collaboration with Israeli-based WizeCare to use a digital rehab platform to monitor home rehab and recovery for patients recovering from orthopedic, neurological, and movement disorders. WizeCare’s platform works with iOS, Android, and web-connected devices to track patient movements. The remote monitoring system uses AI-powered algorithms to track patient movements without wearables or sensors. After analyzing patient movement in real-time, WizeCare’s system delivers video care plans including appropriate exercises for the patient to follow. The platform also reports patient progress to Essen Health Care teams, including recommended personalized treatment plans.

In a joint news release about the collaboration, Essen Health Care Founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sumir Sahgal said, “Using this new RTM platform from WizeCare, we’re seeing patients maximize their recovery times and improve their overall health.” Sahgal also stated that their patients are more 80% compliant with treatment plans than standard industry rates.

The results of a pilot feasibility clinical study of the effect of tele-rehabilitation in people after hip surgery was published in the International Journal of Rehabilitation Research. In the study, 40 hip surgery patients were randomly assigned video clips of common lower limb rehab exercises or given an exercise booklet. Each patient was assigned three home exercise sessions and participated in two physical therapy sessions each week for six weeks. All participants were measured with six standard movement and mobility tests at baseline, after the six week interventions, and in a 4-week follow-up exam. Both the control and tele-rehabilitation groups improved from the baseline to the end of the 6-week interventions. The tele-rehabilitation group improvements were greater in 5 of 6 tests. The tele-rehabilitation group continued to improve in all tests but the control group outcomes did not change in follow-up in 5 of 6 tests.

The conclusion of the pilot feasibility study is that tele-rehabilitation as a complementary treatment to in-person physical therapy produces a positive effect after hip surgery. Hopefully the Essen Health Care and WizeCare collaboration will produce further clinical studies to test the potential for improved outcomes with additional orthopedic, neurological, and movement disorders.