«The line between wearable activity trackers and clinical-grade health monitors seems to be getting blurrier by the day. A new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins University shows that consumer activity-tracking wearables may support clinical care. The study’s first author Zheng “Peter” Xu says, “The purpose of this study was to show that clinically relevant metrics beyond daily step count can be derived from these wearable activity monitors…. Historically, remote monitoring of a patient’s physical status has been challenging. We wanted to meet that challenge and see what kind of untapped information is contained within these devices that could help us support patients with [pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)].”»

«To gauge the use of information collected by activity trackers, Xu and his team took data from 22 people with PAH who wore Fitbits between two visits to the Cleveland Clinic. During the clinic visits, the study’s participants engaged in physical activity and medical professionals took 26 health measurements. These metrics included those for cardiopulmonary functions derived from the standard six-minute walk test that’s commonly used in the care of patients with cardiac and respiratory diseases. Researchers then compared the clinical data they collected to Fitbit heart rate and minute-to-minute step-rate data — finding some correlations they didn’t expect.»

Article written by William McCleary



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