Everything you need to know about the first wearable orthopedic device, TracPatch
“TracPatch connects healthcare providers to what matters most: improving patient lives.”
A decade ago I predicted that smart technologies would be coming to orthopedics. Then in 2015, Consensus Orthopedics invented TracPatch. Brilliant use of smart technology to improve orthopedics outcomes.
I am a big fan of TracPatch for two reasons.
First, TracPatch is revolutionizing evidence-based care in orthopedics. TracPatch is a game changer for healthcare providers, patients, insurance companies, and workers comp. More about this later.
Second, TracPatch is a traditional orthopedic company with the cunning to develop a disruptive technology from inside the four walls of the company; while at the same time executing its core business. This is extremely rare. Stryker, DePuy-Synthes, S+N, and Zimmer-Biomet cannot do this. The only other example that I can think of is when Danek (now Medtronic Spine) developed the first BMP when the core business was spine hardware.
This year TracPatch is poised to become a disruptive force in Orthopedics. TracPatch is the biggest technological advancement in decades to improve outcomes in joint replacements. Let’s learn more about TracPatch.
So what exactly is TracPatch?
TracPatch is a cutting-edge medical wearable designed to make recovering at home easily accessible, connected, and more predictable. TracPatch is a 24/7 remote monitoring wearable device that captures a patient’s key daily activities: such as range of motion progress, exercise compliance, and ambulation. TracPatch is used for pre and post-op patient monitoring, patient engagement, data analytics and post-op cost reduction.
The wearable devices stick on the skin above and below the knee. The wearables are applied before total knee surgery to determine a patient’s baseline activity levels, and then again after surgery to allow the patient and surgeon to stay connected by monitoring activity, pain, range of motion and physical therapy. The Bluetooth connectivity allows the device to be paired with any smartphone and the HIPAA compliant TracPatch cloud allows for unlimited data collection and storage.
The TracPatch web dashboard and app provides the healthcare provider anytime, anywhere insight into a patient’s recovery, allowing for immediate care adjustments and the ability to get ahead of recovery issues, empowering patients and healthcare providers with real-time recovery efficiency.
Surgeon and patient stay connected after surgery.
Gather pre-op/baseline data
Create the patient expectation for recovery
Get ahead of issues
Reduce unnecessary costs
Decreases LOS during surgery.
Today TracPatch is used on the knee, tomorrow TracPatch will be used for hip, spine and shoulder.
Healthcare providers have instant access to a patient’s pre-op and post-op data and can adjust care plans based on the data. Dr. David Stulberg said it best, “TracPatch is going to change the way the healthcare industry views and treats joint replacement patients. Not only will we be able to preoperatively monitor patient activity to set a clinical baseline, but surgeons will also be able to monitor how their patients are recovering long after they have been discharged which will ultimately result in fewer patients being readmitted to the hospital and higher success rates of surgery.”
TracPatch and IBM Watson Health, the leader in cognitive healthcare solutions, are teaming up in a collaborative approach to advance orthopedic care through the power of connected technology. The goal is to use TracPatch real-world data combined with IBM Watson Health cognitive capabilities which healthcare providers will then use to help guide patient care.
Watson Health was used by TracPatch to first identify the true cost drivers in total joint orthopedic care. TracPatch will provide objective data and benchmarked patient information into Watson Health to analyze and provide evidence-based treatment options to help healthcare providers improve decision making and reduce costs. In Phase 3, using evidence-based data from TracPatch and advanced analytics from Watson Health, TracPatch will provide personalized orthopedic treatment options and care paths using Watson Health’s cognitive capabilities.
For more information:
Watch a 3-minute Video overview of TracPatch here
Listen to Dr. Chris Leslie’s Podcast about TracPatch here
How was a disruptive technology like TracPatch conceived from inside a traditional orthopedic company?
All it took was a warm Saturday afternoon and a delicious BBQ dinner to spark a revolutionary idea. Consensus Orthopedics found a common drawback in orthopedic surgery: a minimal connection between surgeons and patients.
With a passion for renewing lives, Consensus set out to solve the problem by brainstorming answers to questions such as, “How can we create a connection to help improve patient recovery?” The solution soon followed with the innovation of TracPatch. After extensive research, development, and testing, TracPatch was soon launched, much to the excitement of the orthopedic industry. Consensus strongly believes in the power of connection between health care providers, patients, and industry.
How is TracPatch funded?
TracPatch is funded by Consensus core business and has shareholders that are both money managers, VC’s, and high net worth individuals.
How does TracPatch actually work?
TracPatch is a continuous remote monitoring device that utilizes multiple sensor technologies. These sensors allow the two devices to know where they are in space on the patient’s body. The TracPatch devices are placed on the upper and lower legs using an adhesive disposable patch. The device is then paired to a smartphone by Bluetooth. As the patient begins their pre-op and post-op recovery plan, TracPatch monitors, collects, and stores the patient’s activity data. This data is then transferred by Bluetooth to a smartphone and then to the TracPatch cloud. The patients’ data can be viewed in real time on the TracPatch apps and web dashboard throughout the entire episode of care.
What data does TracPatch generate?
We are at the beginning of the evidence-based medicine era. TracPatch will be able to keep healthcare providers and patients connected during the entire episode of care. TracPatch combined with Big Data capabilities will better enable effective care and well-organized managed health.
Collect range of motion (ROM) data and analyze total joint implants leading to potential new implant designs
Provide information that allows healthcare providers and payers to compare surgeon techniques, implants, and hospital and surgeon performance locally, regionally, nationally.
Create pre-op and post-op protocols, i.e. which exercises work with which patients at what time during the recovery process, what exercises work preoperatively, and make real-time care adjustments as needed for enhanced personalized patient care.
Who will benefit from the TracPatch technology?
This data will be invaluable to hospitals, hospital systems, and payors (HCA, VA, insurance companies, Medicare, etc.). TracPatch will provide objective data to validate surgical techniques, hospital performance, which procedures insurance companies are willing to pay for and which surgeons insurance companies want to use.
Insurers already use data points like BMI (body mass index) to set rates. If you think of TracPatch as a way to value healthcare improvement, the more data points captured and evidence shown to reduce the need for services, both the insurance company and patient can save money. TracPatch can act as a claim adjuster to confirm the need and prevent fraud for total joints as well as provide data showing patient monitoring reduces costs to the healthcare system.
Self-Insured companies will benefit because they want to find the best coverage for the cheapest price. Companies such as the Cleveland Clinic negotiate with large, self-insured companies to provide excellent total joint replacement surgery at a reasonable cost with good outcomes. With TracPatch, the Cleveland Clinic can monitor patients once they return home after their procedures. This becomes a strong value proposition for these types of institutions when negotiating these contracts.
How will TracPatch benefits be measured in clinical studies?
Total Knee Arthroplasty is becoming an increasingly common operation. An important part of a successful overall patient outcome is regaining the functional range of motion after surgery. Wearable devices for fitness have become increasingly common in the general population. TracPatch clinical studies seek to utilize wearable technology to enhance the pre- and post-operative rehabilitation experience by allowing patients and surgeons to monitor patient recovery in real time. The TracPatch device utilizes multiple sensors to allow the surgeon and patient to monitor recovery and help ensure critical milestones are being met. This new technology will improve patient outcomes and lead to greater cost savings in post-operative care. In addition, TracPatch will be used as a physical therapy tool for managing post-operative physical therapy for patients who have had a Total Knee Replacement compared to traditional physical therapy.
What are the applications for TracPatch in the future?
All musculoskeletal motion – Knee, ACL, Spine, Hip, Shoulder, etc.