Determining how far patients with lung disease can walk for six minutes is a long-time effective clinical tool to help clinicians determine their exercise capacity, as well as help predict health outcomes and mortality.
Now, in a new study, researchers from Intermountain Health in Salt Lake City have discovered that the steps measured by a wrist strap can be used to assess exercise capacity and determine patients' health. , instead of a standardized six-minute walk distance test, which is usually conducted in a clinical setting.
Using tracker-track trackers, the researchers found that the data could be used in clinical care at larger intervals to effectively monitor patient progress and disease management. Researchers say the results are another example of how carrying and tracking devices like Fitbits and Apple watches can be used in patient care to improve outcomes.
For patients, that means we can monitor their progress more often in a way that is cheaper and more comfortable than current standardized testing. "
Dr. Denitsa Blazev, lead researcher of the study and a practitioner of pulmonary and critical care in Intermittent Health
Six-minute walking (6WMD) is an important, objective standard used to assess exercise capacity. Patients walk for six minutes, and then based on how many meters they cover at the time, doctors can predict the outcome and mortality of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease.
"Normally, the 6WMD test is done every few months or once a year. Now, we may be able to regularly measure patients and know if we should intervene if their estimated 6WMD is counted step by step," Dr Blazev said.
The findings of the study were presented at meetings of the International Congress of the European Respiratory Society in Madrid, Spain, on September 29.
In the study, the researchers conducted a 12-week, blinded, randomized, cross-over trial with 52 patients, a group that included adults with a history of respiratory problems during periods of increased air pollution. The knee-step counters follow the patient's footsteps for those 12 weeks; and patients completed respiratory symptoms questionnaires.
The researchers found that they could effectively evaluate a patient's 6MWD results using a stair counters, rather than having patients come into the clinical setting to perform the 6MWD test.
"Instead of having one measurement every few months, you can have weekly measurements and have information on the progression of the disease at more frequent intervals. This is a significant improvement and improved practicality for our patients, "said Dr. Blazev.
The implications? Using wrist counters will allow doctors to monitor how their patients are doing, the progression of the disease and whether the patient requires immediate intervention.
"Being able to distill the count of steps in this clinically relevant metric is the first step in thinking about how to use counters to better manage health and detect deterioration earlier," he added. r Blagev.
Media Medical Center