How artificial intelligence can be used to reduce costs and improve outcomes in total joint replacement surgery

Use of AI led to cost reductions including a 25 percent drop in hospital length of stay and 91 percent reduction in discharges to nursing facilities.

Total joint replacement surgery is one of the most prevalent and expensive surgeries in the U.S., and a study published in the Annals of Translational Medicine indicates that costs and outcomes for such surgeries can be improved by using artificial intelligence platforms.

Specifically, the research examined the efficacy of PreHab AI technology from mobile technology company PeerWell. Offering pre-operative education, PreHab was associated with a reduction in surgery costs of $1,215 — with one big catch: It had to be delivered in person by a physical therapist.

Many insurance plans only allow for a small number of paid physical therapy sessions per year, making surgeons reluctant to use them before surgery.


The platform was able to deliver effective preoperative optimization without the need for clinicians, findings showed.

A patient’s use of PeerWell led to significant cost reductions including a 25 percent drop in hospital length of stay, an 80 percent increase in going home without the need for home care, and a 91 percent reduction in discharges to skilled nursing facilities.

The platform uses patient data to create personalized daily plans to get patients ready for surgery. Plans include video physical therapy, nutrition counseling, comprehensive anxiety management and pain resilience training, home preparation guidance and medical risk management.

By using machine learning, PeerWell can also glean clinically relevant data from ordinary smartphones. For example, using the accelerometer and gyroscope, it can track range of motion. Or, by using the smartphone camera, it can identify trip and fall hazards in the home.

By Jeff Lagasse | Healthcare Finance

Image Credit: Jeff Lagasse / Healthcare Finance


About Peter Coffaro 477 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 25 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. Recognized by the World Journal of Orthopedics, Exponential Healthtech, and as one of the top medical sales influencers in the industry; he has 10 years of combined sales management experience and has held positions as a Director, General Manager, Distributor, and Vice President. Peter has worked for some of the top orthopedic companies in the world - Zimmer, DePuy, and Stryker. He is also the founder of OrthoFeed: a popular blog that covers digital orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson and has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing, and professional education. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Illinois University.

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