Cedars Sinai gives post-surgery patients Fitbits to speed up recovery

Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai Hospital is helping patients recover from surgery by providing Fitbit activity trackers to encourage them to move around post-operation, according to CNBC.

The hospital supplies the trackers for free to patients who have undergone knee replacements, hip replacements or other surgeries to get them back on their feet.

While most people who wear a Fitbit strive to reach a goal of 10,000 steps each day, those in recovery who take at least 1,000 steps a day are usually discharged sooner than those who don't.

"Patients need to walk after they've had a surgery," Brennan Spiegel, MD, director of health services research at Cedars-Sinai, told CNBC. "There's decades of research, so we know that."

Since walking around a hospital may not be the most interesting experience, physicians at Cedars developed an app that guides patients to the hospital's artwork. Each tour takes 250 steps to reach a painting or mural.

"It really encourages patients to get out and walk for a reason," Timothy Daskivich, MD, a physician at Cedars, told CNBC.

Step counts are displayed on a board in the patient's room so they can compare their progress to other patients' recovering from the same surgery in order to help them reach realistic targets.

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