Digital Fitness Devices Help Patients Monitor Health and Activity, Improve Outcomes
Many orthopaedic patients are eager to track and improve their health and progress before, during and after treatment. A digital fitness device, technology already owned by 1 in 10 Americans, provides a unique opportunity for patients to monitor their activity levels, medication use, weight, sleep patterns, rehabilitation progress, and other personal health data, ultimately empowering them to improve clinical outcomes, according to a study presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
The study is the first to objectively review applications of these devices specifically for orthopaedic care. With consumer sales soaring, "fitness devices have the potential to transform orthopaedic care," said lead study author Claudette Lajam, MD, an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center. "If we can get people more involved in their care and help them get in better shape, then everyone wins - patients, physicians, and the entire health care system."
The study analyzed activity tracking, cost, interfaces, location of devices on the body, and other relevant features for 28 health devices named the most popular by top consumer tech magazines. The most common features were a pedometer (tracking distance traveled), in addition to monitors for heart rate, sleep and caloric intake, although many other features were available.
Dr. Lajam said data generated by fitness devices can be applied across different levels of orthopaedic care:
- Non-surgical patients can track behavior, activity levels and medication use and alter these factors to lose weight and maintain the best possible function in their extremities.
- Pre-operative patients can reduce risk for post-operative complications by reducing their weight, preventing diabetes through glucose monitoring, and identifying sleep disorders.
- Post-operative patients can evaluate rehabilitation progress and surgical outcomes by measuring walking distances and stairs climbed, and alter physical therapy for better recovery.
If authorized by patients, this data also can be sent to their doctor and health care team, via apps that interface with Apple HealthKit, Google Fit, and Microsoft HealthVault and electronic medical record systems.
Dr. Lajam said that with heightened emphasis on patient engagement and accountability, devices are an easy way for patients and physicians to share and document long-term activity. The study did not recommend specific devices, determine treatments based on information, or assess accuracy of data produced by the devices.
"We urge developers of these technologies to work with surgeons, patients, payers and hospitals to create meaningful applications that optimize patient care," Dr. Lajam said.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) is the world’s largest association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS provides education programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions and advances the highest musculoskeletal care for patients, and is the authoritative source of information on bone and joint conditions, treatments, and related issues.
Most Popular Now
Doctors from the University of Pittsburgh showed that providing an online computerized cognitive behavioral therapy (CCBT) program both alone and in combination with Inte...Read more
26 - 27 May, Paris, France. Doctors 2.0 & YOU, the International Digital Health Congress that offers to every health professionals the opportunity to understand how to u...Read more
When electrical waves in the heart run amok in a condition called arrhythmia, sudden death can occur. To save the life of a patient at risk, doctors currently implant a s...Read more
In experiments involving a simulation of the human esophagus and stomach, researchers at MIT, the University of Sheffield, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have demo...Read more
InterSystems, a global leader in health information technology, will bring pioneers from across the world to Sutton Coldfield in May, to share ground-breaking stories on ...Read more
Most people in the developing world who have asthma, cystic fibrosis or other chronic lung diseases have no way to measure how well their lungs are functioning outside of...Read more
A team of experts from around Europe has come together to develop a portable device with a hand-held probe that will dramatically reduce invasive diagnostic and therapeut...Read more
Decades of global stigma over electro-convulsive therapy (ECT), a potentially life-saving treatment that helps thousands of patients with illnesses like severe depression...Read more
A smartphone app that tracks palpitations in heart patients provides comparable performance to the 14-day event monitors that are the current standard of care, according ...Read more