In-Hospital Wearable Activity Trackers Tied to Improved Outcomes

Patients using wearable trackers had higher physical activity and functioning
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, June 16, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital-based interventions in which patients use wearable activity trackers are associated with higher physical activity levels, less sedentary behavior, and better physical functioning versus usual care, according to a review published online June 15 in JAMA Network Open.

Kimberley Szeto, from the University of South Australia in Adelaide, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to evaluate the association of interventions that use wearable activity trackers during hospitalization with patient physical activity, sedentary behavior, clinical outcomes, and hospital efficiency outcomes.

Based on 15 studies (1,911 participants), the researchers observed a significant association between wearable activity tracker interventions and higher overall physical activity (standardized mean difference, 0.35; I² = 72 percent) and less sedentary behavior (mean difference, −35.46 minutes/day; I² = 0). There was also a significant association seen between wearable activity tracker interventions and improvements in physical function (standardized mean difference, 0.27; I² = 0) versus usual care. However, wearable activity tracker interventions were not significantly associated with pain, mental health, length of stay, or readmission risk.

"These findings suggest that wearable activity trackers can increase patient physical activity, reduce sedentary behavior, and enhance physical function during hospitalization, which may make them a useful tool for supporting patient recovery," the authors write.

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