Tuesday October 15, 2019

Apple Watches, Fitbits to be Used For Patient Care, Study Suggests

Wearable devices like Fitbits and Apple Watches can be used to estimate exercise capacity and determine the health status of patients

0
//
Apple Watch, Fitbit, health, patient, care
"The health/fitness factor is playing a key role in driving consumer decision making for the adoption of smartwatches and Fitbit has entirely focused on this core use case." Pixabay

Wearable devices like Fitbits and Apple Watches can be used to estimate exercise capacity and determine the health status of patients, says a new study.

Determining how far patients with pulmonary disease can walk in six minutes has long been an effective clinical tool to help physicians determine their exercise capacity, as well as to aid in predicting health outcomes and mortality.

The new research suggests that devices like Fitbits and Apple Watches can replace the standardised six-minute walk distance test, which is usually conducted in a clinical setting.

Data from wrist-worn step trackers may be used in clinical care at higher intervals to effectively monitor patient progress and disease management, said the study.

“For patients, this means we can track their progress more frequently in a manner that’s less expensive and more convenient than current standardised testing,” said lead investigator of the study Denitza Blagev from Intermountain Healthcare in the US.

The six-minute walk distance is an important, objective standard used to assess exercise capacity.

Patients walk for six minutes and, then based on how many metres they cover in that time, physicians can predict outcomes and mortality for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular diseases.

Apple Watch, Fitbit, health, patient, care
Apple Watch will help identify AF and rhythm disorders and this will surely help in early identification of disease. Pixabay

“Normally, the 6WMD (six-minute walk distance) test is done every few months or once a year. Now, we may be able to measure patients on a regular basis and know if we need to intervene if their estimated 6WMD by step count changes,” said Blagev.

In the study, researchers conducted a 12-week, blinded, randomised, cross-over trial with 52 patients, a group that included adults with a history of respiratory problems during periods of elevated air pollution. Wrist step counters tracked patient steps for those 12 weeks and patients also filled out respiratory symptom questionnaires.

ALSO READ: Carcinogen Metals Like- Lead, Nickel Found in E-Cigarettes

Researchers found they could effectively estimate a patient’s six-minute walk distance results by using step counters, instead of having patients come in a clinical setting to do the test.

“Instead of having one measurement every few months, you could have weekly measurements, and have information at disease progression at more frequent intervals. This is a significant improvement and enhanced convenience for our patients,” said Blagev.

Findings from the study were were presented on Sunday at the European Respiratory Society International Congress meetings in Madrid. (IANS)

Next Story

Afghanistan Initiates Polio Drive, Targets 8.5mn Kids

The campaign is launched in most of the places in Afghanistan where limited children were reached earlier in the year

0
Polio
Afghan health authorities on launched sub-national immunization campaign to give polio immunity vaccination dose to 8.5 million children under five years old. Pixabay

Afghan health authorities on Monday launched an extended sub-national immunization campaign to give polio immunity vaccination dose to 8.5 million children under five years old.

“The five-day campaign targets over 8.5 million children under 5 years of age in 324 districts across the country. The campaign is launched in most of the places where limited children were reached earlier in the year,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry of Public Health as saying.

“We are concerned that following the long pause in polio vaccination in parts of the country, more children have become vulnerable to poliovirus, therefore it is of paramount importance that we vaccinate those who have been missing out,” it added.

The Ministry called on the parents to protect their children against polio by letting the vaccinators get in when they come knocking on the doors.

Polio
The five-day campaign in Afghanistan targets over 8.5 million children against Polio under 5 years of age in 324 districts across the country. Pixabay

The ongoing insurgency and conflicts have been hindering the efforts to curb the infectious disease in the mountainous country as 1.2 million children from inaccessible areas have missed previous drives.

READ MORE: PM Modi Stooped Down to Lift Environmental Awareness

There are only two countries in the world, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where polio cases are still reported. (IANS)