Wearable Activity Tracker Data to Shed Light on Human Health - medtigo



Wearable Activity Tracker Data to Shed Light on Human Health

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According to Futurity, data from wearable activity trackers can be utilized to assess specific features related to the user’s overall physical health and cardiovascular health status.

Even though these sensors are frequently promoted as a handy way to measure your daily steps, the researchers believe they may be effective in treating patients suffering from pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and other chronic conditions.  

According to the study, Digital Medicine lead author Zheng “Peter” Xu, a postdoctoral fellow for inHealth at Johns Hopkins University, the goal of this research was to demonstrate that these devices may yield therapeutically meaningful data other than the number of steps completed each day.

He also mentioned, “It has always been difficult to maintain remote patient monitoring. We decided to take on this challenge to investigate what untapped knowledge these resources offered to benefit persons with PAH. “  

The study included 22 individuals with PAH who regularly used activity trackers between visits to the Cleveland Clinic. During both Cleveland Clinic visits, medical experts recorded 26 health parameters, including quality of life, heart rate, and results from the six-minute walk distance (6MWD) test, a typical aerobic capacity and endurance test.  

The researchers assessed various indicators often linked with physical health and cardiovascular function using minute-by-minute data from each participant’s step and heart rates.  

The results of a “free-living six-minute walk distance” test and the weekly distribution of heart rate and walking intensity and frequency were analyzed. This information allowed the researchers to assess each participant’s health and put them into groups with comparable features.  

Unexpected connections were discovered when activity-tracker measures were compared to the 26 health indicators obtained during both clinic visits, indicating that these data may be used in therapeutic contexts.  

There was a link between fitness assessments based on step count and heart rate data from wearable activity trackers and clinical measures of NT-proBNP, a blood biomarker used to predict the risk of heart failure. According to the research team, eighteen of these traits changed statistically significantly among all 22 patients.  

According to Peter Searson, a Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering professor and the study’s primary author, activity-tracker data may make it possible to construct surrogate indications of sickness severity that can be observed remotely. This information might be used to determine which patients would benefit the most from further clinic visits or medication.  


Furthermore, it is believed that health metrics acquired by activity trackers are interchangeable with health parameters examined by doctors in patients with chronic diseases.  

The next step for the research team is to see if these tools can enhance clinical treatment for patients with COPD and scleroderma. They plan to investigate if COPD patients may utilize data from wearable activity trackers to predict the onset of symptoms. 



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