Current Research Projects

Wearable Technology


Wearable technology for monitoring rehabilitation and return to function following Joint replacement surgery - A Pilot Study

What is this study?

MHK surgeons are currently involved in a research project which is funded by the Epworth Research Foundation and with Ethics Approval from The Alfred Hospital HREC.

For this study we are asking patients who undergo hip and knee replacement surgery to wear a Garmin watch for 3 months to monitor their recovery. During this time, it will record their sleep and daily activities including regular walking exercises.

What is the aim of this study?

We hope that this technology can replace more time consuming and cumbersome traditional research methods while being very safe for patients and minimising their inconvenience. This technology should also be able to record in more detail how patients recover and perhaps can be used as a technique for future interventional studies.

For more information please click on this link to our Patient information form.

Patient information form

Thank you for participating in this study.

This is a pilot study to investigate whether wearing a smart watch can collect useful data for the follow-up of patients after hip and knee replacement surgery.

This study has been funded by a research grant from the Epworth Research Foundation.

The study protocol and design has been reviewed and approved by the Alfred HREC with support from the Epworth Research Development and Governance Unit.

Does this study affect my care?

There is no change to your standard operation, rehab, recovery and follow up.

What do I need to do?

We ask you to wear a smart watch throughout the day and night for 12 weeks. We also ask you to take regular walks outside and record this walk on your watch. Each week we ask you to answer a couple of simple questions in a handbook you will be given at the start of the study.

What information is being recorded?

The watch will record how many steps you take each day. During your outside walk it will record how far you walk, how quickly you walk and how long your stride length is. These are markers for how well you are returning to normal activity.

At night the watch will record how long you sleep for, if you wake during the night, and the proportion of light and deep sleep you have.

We know that peoples sleep is disturbed after an operation by pain and medication. This is a way of monitoring how affected patients are and when they recover.

How will this research help?

We hope to use this technique in future studies to replace other research techniques which are more expensive or intrusive for patients. This also allows us to get multiple sets of data as we are recording every day. This could be used to compare different techniques or prosthesis that we use.

What risks are there for me from this study?

Virtually none.

You will wear a watch which may be a little uncomfortable. If the watch rubs or you have a reaction to wearing the watch you can remove it at any time. When you are recording your walks please take care and do not risk having a fall or injuring yourself at any stage. If you are tired, feel unsteady or are not confident do NOT perform a walking test.

What if I change my mind?

You are free to withdraw from the trial at any time

Do I get to keep the watch?

No, these watches are expensive and remain the property of the Epworth Hospital. At the end of the trial you will need to return the watch to the staff at MHK and we will return it to the hospital.

Who can answer questions?

If you have issues or concerns at any time please call our staff at 9882 7753 or email us

How to record a walk

Garmin watch device overview

  • Always perform your walk outside
  • From the watch face press (Button 2)
  • Select run by pressing (Button 2) again
    • (Don’t worry you will be walking)
  • Wait for the message “GPS is ready” on screen
  • Press (Button 2)
  • Walk
  • After the walk press to stop (Button 2)
  • Press (Button 4)
  • Select “save”. Press Select (Button 2)
  • Press (Button 3) 3 times to return to the watch face.

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