The wearables can offer an objective window into patient activity, which can translate to more accurate care. While wearables may have gotten their start in the consumer market, theres no doubt that they are making waves in the larger clinical healthcare space.One of the most recent examples of this is a study by Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which has successfully used Fitbit wearable devices to monitor the activity and quality of life of advanced cancer patients.The study, which was published in npj Digital Medicine in July, notes that clinicians decided to tap the technology to monitor patient activity because, while an accurate assessment of activity level is necessary to treatment for patients with advanced cancer, its often difficult for doctors and care teams to ascertain, since these patients spend most of their time outside the clinic.Recent technological advances in wearable activity monitors have made it possible to collect real-time, objective patient activity data in a non-obtrusive manner, the study authors note. Wearable activity monitors measure the duration, intensity, and frequency of physical activity and have previously been used in clinical settings to motivate exercise and behavior.Referring specifically to Fitbit Charge, the authors point out that these trackers are relatively affordable for care teams and patients alike, making them cost-effective tools to track everything from sleep to heart rate.While the study notes that the findings need to be validated by further studies and indeed, Cedars-Sinai is conducting at least one additional study it concludes that wearables can be used successfully to predict clinical and patient-reported outcomes, for advanced cancer patients.

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