THURSDAY, Jan. 7, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For patients undergoing hip or knee arthroplasty, a remote monitoring program does not affect the rate of discharge to home but does result in a reduction in rehospitalization, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in JAMA Network Open.

Shivan J. Mehta, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a randomized clinical trial involving patients aged 18 to 85 years scheduled to undergo hip or knee arthroplasty. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either usual care (153 patients) or remote monitoring (147 participants), which involved receiving a wearable monitor to track step count, messaging about postoperative goals and milestones, pain score tracking, and connection to clinicians as needed. Patients assigned to receive monitoring were further randomly assigned to remote monitoring alone or with gamification and social support.

The researchers found that the rate of discharge to home did not differ significantly between the usual care arm and intervention arm (57.3 versus 56.8 percent). Step count was not significantly increased for those receiving remote monitoring plus gamification and social support versus remote monitoring alone. Compared with usual care, there was a significant reduction noted in the rehospitalization rate in the intervention arm (3.4 versus 12.2 percent). “Technology, behavioral science insights, and care redesign can help to improve care at home and prevent patients from coming back to the hospital unnecessarily,” Mehta said in a statement.

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Several authors disclosed financial ties to the health care industry.

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