The Hospital to Home study (H2H): smartwatch technology-enabled rehabilitation following hip fracture in older adults, a feasibility non-randomised trial

K. Hewage, S. Fosker, Richard Venn, Ana Carolina Goncalves, C. Koulouglioti, L. Hodgson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Hip fractures are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This study assessed the feasibility of smartwatches supporting rehabilitation post-surgical fixation.

Methods: This UK-based non-randomised intervention study recruited patients who had sustained a hip fracture (age ≥65 and Abbreviated Mental Test Score ≥8/10), following surgical fixation, at one hospital to the intervention group, and at a second hospital to a usual care group. The intervention group received a smartwatch (Fitbit Charge 4) and app (CUSH Health©). Feasibility measures included retention and completion of outcome measures.

Results: Between November 2020 and November 21, 66 participants were recruited (median age 78 (IQR 74–84)). The intervention cohort were younger, with no significant differences in frailty or multi-morbidity between the cohorts. Hospital stay was shorter in the intervention cohort (10 days (7–16) versus 12 (10–18), p=0.05). There were 15 falls-related readmissions in the control cohort, including 11 fractures, with none in the intervention cohort (p=0.016). In the intervention group, median daily step counts increased from 477 (320–697) in hospital, to 931 (505–1238) 1 week post-discharge, to 5,352 (3,552–7,944) at 12-weeks (p=0.001). Of the intervention cohort, 12 withdrew.

Conclusion: This study found that smartwatch-supported rehabilitation was feasible in this cohort. A significant proportion of patients either chose not to participate or withdrew; such a decrease in participants must be addressed to avoid digital exclusion. Falls and fracture-related readmissions were more frequent at the control site compared with the intervention site.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-20
Number of pages7
JournalFuture Healthcare Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • smartwatches
  • hip fracture
  • rehabilitation
  • digital health

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