Wearable fitness trackers — medical devices that monitor a person’s steps taken per day — could be useful tools for assessing and treating cancer patients, a University of Texas Southwestern study suggested.
The pilot study, which appeared in the Journal of Clinical Oncology: Clinical Cancer Informatics, involved older cancer patients who wore physical activity monitors over a span of ten weeks or more and used them to measure their functional status, a key part of clinical encounters and a factor in treatment decisions, the researchers said.
The data collected from the monitors correlated well with clinician assessments of the patients, the first author of the study, Arjun Gupta, said.
“We found that patients could successfully use the wearable devices over a prolonged period. Measured steps per day differentiated performance status with great sensitivity, and correlated well with multiple quality-of-life surveys,” he said.