Fitness Trackers Can Benefit People in Cancer Treatment

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Wearable activity monitors can provide key information about quality of life and daily functioning in people undergoing cancer treatment, say researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Commonly called fitness trackers, these devices – which are often worn comfortably on the wrist – can monitor daily step counts, stairs climbed, calories expended, heart rate, and sleep.

For their small study, Cedars-Sinai had 37 patients undergoing treatment for advanced cancer wear fitness trackers except when showering or swimming. The researchers collected data from the devices at three consecutive clinic visits and then followed up with study participants for the next six months. They compared the data to participants’ self-assessments of symptoms and used the combined information to evaluate their physical status.

Overall, higher daily step counts corresponded to more positive health ratings and lower rates of adverse events and hospitalization. According to the researchers, their results suggest the data collected from fitness trackers can supplement and help improve health status assessments and physical function in patients undergoing cancer treatment.

Sourced from: npj Digital Medicine