Biocoach is a wearable for post-operation recovery for the elderly patients. It improves health outcomes, services and research by taking a patient centric approach and analysis is performed by the physiotherapist. It monitors health metrics after surgery that provides objective and continuous monitoring of the rehabilitation process.

Targets

The client Zimmer (formerly Biomet), has been on the cutting edge in the field of biomedical prosthetics and technologies. The company commissioned a project to identify how they can cope with increasing demands. The team found that demand for hip and knee replacements will triple by 2030, requiring a new approach and thus formulated the following targets:

  • Strategy - optimize the post-operation process after joint replacement to reduce variation, decrease length of stay in hospital and improved body acceptance.
  • Product - final delivery of the project needs to be production ready, tested with consumers and a clear business model.

The process

User analysis and focus sessions indicated clear problems in the post operation process: forgotten exercises, wrong execution or over-exercising lead to rejection of the new joint by the body. “Rapid Recovery” was established, a care program for hospitals to optimize the quality and progress of the rehabilitation process after joint replacement. The main strategy is to gather data from the patient and avoid rejections of the new joint (not covered by insurances). An iterative process between prototyping and user testing throughout the project using CNC milling, 3D printing, casting and deep drawing to test size and functionality resulted in a well optimized result & product.

The technology inside distinguishes between over 50 different exercises that you do, but also how well you do them and the matching pain level. Through weekly meetings with your physician this data is used as a discussion point to track & optimize your progress. For elderly people it was key that they did not need to interact with the interface itself. Instead they receive feedback from the device via a simplified LED interface which guides them through the process, provides reminders and shows progression.

Achievements

  • Patented - the technology and interaction profile between patient and physician has been patented. Zimmer is currently further refining the business model for the device with the aim of market introduction.

  • Rapid Recovery - the rapid recovery program now advises hospitals on increased surgeon and staff satisfaction and a better overall patient experience.

  • Best project - the team was awarded best project amongst 50 other competing teams.