Posted on May 12, 2018, 2 a.m.
Researchers from UT Southwestern have shown that wearable fitness monitors such as Fitbit which measure steps taken per day may provide to be a useful tool to help evaluate and treat cancer patients, as published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology: Clinical Cancer Informatics.
In the first phase of understanding how the wearable devices can help cancer patients, this pilot study of older cancer patients has found that participants were willing to wear monitors for 10 or more weeks and used them correctly, there was a low attrition rate, and participants reported positive experiences with the devices. Data collected from the monitors worn by participants correlated with clinician assessment of patient status.
Evaluations of patient functional status is an important part of clinical encounters that affects treatment decisions. Cancer patients are often older, subtle differences in functional states can be of great importance in evaluations. Adding objective data from wearable fitness monitors can sharpen oncologist assessments of patients.
24 cancer patients being treated for various cancers such as lung, gastrointestinal and breast cancer participated in this study, 23 of which were able to meet the goal successfully set for feasibility for using the devices.
Researchers are hopeful these devices can be used in a larger trial so the true effects of different cancer treatments on patient physical activity can be monitored and seen. Patient steps each day can be monitored with great sensitivity to assess quality of life and make adjustments to further improvements.
Materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center.
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Arjun Gupta, Tyler Stewart, Nizar Bhulani, Ying Dong, Zain Rahimi, Kimberli Crane, Chad Rethorst, Muhammad S. Beg. Feasibility of Wearable Physical Activity Monitors in Patients With Cancer. JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics, 2018; (2): 1 DOI: 10.1200/CCI.17.00152