Epworth HealthCare

Using Telehealth to manage rehabilitation after joint replacement surgery

Epworth Healthcare

Epworth HealthCare is the largest provider of joint replacement surgery in Victoria and is renowned for its quality of care, in particular rehabilitation post-surgery.

Epworth is one of two hospitals in Australia that is participating in a clinical trial, sponsored by Accelero Health Partners, LLC (A Zimmer Biomet Company), enrolling 10,000 people worldwide. The purpose of this clinical trial is to determine if education and exercise for joint replacement surgery remotely guided by the mymobility mobile telehealth application (mymobility application or app) and paired with the Apple Watch (smartwatch), is just as good, or better, than the current standard of written education and outpatient physical therapy.

Epworth is also funding a nested trial to explore the use of an animation, in addition to the paper based Patient Information and Consent form (PICF), aiming to measure if the use of the animation was helpful or not. This nested trial was approved by the HREC, Bellberry Limited.

Participants will be emailed the link to watch a 10-minute video animation outlining the "parent study”. Participants will then be asked a series of questions about the trial to assess their understanding and their participation in the trial, and their satisfaction of the video consent method. After completing the knowledge questions, participants will be directed to sign and date an electronic patient informed consent form. This will be emailed to the participant and to the research team. Research staff will review and countersign. Understanding of and adherence to the study protocol will be monitored by research staff as per usual.

The approving HREC, Bellberry, raised a few questions about the use of the animation to make sure that participants still had a chance to speak with clinical staff and have their questions answered, which was the case. Other concerns related to privacy of information, consistency of the information in the video versus the PICFs, accessibility of the PICF, and that the methods of the study related to measuring the utility and possible benefits, all of which were resolved. No issues were raised with the use of the animation itself. The trial is still underway and actively recruiting.

Contact details:

Stasie Abela
Project Manager/ Clinical Research Nurse
Epworth HealthCare