Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. is working with Apple to connect knee and hip replacement patients to their surgeons through an app accessible on Apple Watches and iPhones, officials announced Monday.

The app allows surgeons to send education and therapy reminders directly to the patient’s Apple Watch and monitorpatient activity levels throughout the days and weeks while they are preparing for and recovering from surgery.

The Warsaw-based orthopedic devices maker is also launching a clinical study designed to study the app’s impact on patient outcomes and overall costs for joint replacement patients.

Researchers will gather insight into how the app affects the standard of care for these common surgeries. More than 1 million knee and hip replacements occur annually in the U.S. The number is expected to grow to 3.5 million by 2035.

Consumer spending climbs just 0.1%

U.S. consumer spending edged up a slight 0.1 percent in September, a disappointing performance in which rebounding auto sales were offset by weakness in other areas. 

The Commerce Department said Monday that the scant gain in September followed an equally meager 0.1 percent increase in August.

It was the weakest two-month performance since the start of the year and was well below economist projections of a solid 0.6 percent rise in sales. Analysts have been forecasting that growth will come in at still-solid rate above 3 percent in the just completed third quarter but the weakness in retail sales may cause them to rethink those forecasts.

Higher interest rates aid Bank of America

Bank of America said Monday that its third-quarter profits rose by 32 percent from a year ago, as higher interest rates allowed BofA to charge more for loans, and lower corporate tax rates helped it save hundreds of millions on taxes.

The Charlotte, North Carolina, banking giant said it earned a profit of $7.17 billion, or 66 cents a share. That’s up from $5.42 billion, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier.

BofA’s net interest income rose 6 percent from a year earlier to $11.9 billion. The bank’s total revenue rose to $22.78 billion in the quarter.

While Bank of America had to pay more for deposits in the quarter, the bank was more than able to make up for it by charging borrowers more to take out loans. Bank of America also paid significantly less taxes in the quarter.

Colonel Sanders’ items go to auction

Some items given to Colonel Harland Sanders’ driver and friend are being auctioned next month, including one of the Kentucky Fried Chicken founder’s white suits and matching Stetson hat.

Heritage Auctions of Dallas said in a news release that Dick Miller spent the last decade of Sanders’ life working for him. Miller stayed on after Sanders’ death in 1980, helping Sanders’ wife, Claudia, and working for the company. He said he wants to sell his memorabilia so someone who appreciates the items will end up with them.

The collection includes the couple’s driver’s licenses and credit cards, an inscribed belt buckle and a wristwatch. The live auction will be Nov. 3 at Heritage Auctions’ Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction, with internet bidding available.

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