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Apple Watch and iPhone Could Be Used to Monitor Cardiovascular Patients, Says New Study

The Apple Watch and iPhone could have some medical-related uses, according to the findings of a new study.

As spotted by MyHealthyApple, a recently published study (conducted from 2018 to 2019) by University of Stanford researchers found that with the VascTrac app, the devices were able to provide an accurate assessment of “frailty” (defined by the study as walking less than 300 meters on an in-clinic 6-minute walk test) in cardiovascular patients.

In a supervised in-clinic setting, the Apple Watch and iPhone yielded a sensitivity and specificity result of 90% and 85% respectively. When taken outside the clinic with an unsupervised setting, the results were 83% for sensitivity and 60% for specificity.

Image source: Apple

“Passive data collected at home were nearly as accurate at predicting frailty on a clinic-based 6MWT as was a home-based 6MWT, with area under curve (AUC) of 0.643 and 0.704, respectively,” said the study. The study also said that the lower accuracy in home settings was likely to be a result of different walk test conditions than device accuracy, and that 84% of the patients involved completed the full study despite the patient population having a lower tech literacy.

The study noted its “small sample size and lack of demographic diversity” as drawbacks. However, it concluded, “While the benefits of telemedicine and remote monitoring—convenience, low cost, improved data quality—have been postulated for some time, the COVID-19 pandemic has made accelerated implementation a safety imperative. In this study, we showed that smart device-based measurements, including both a 6MWT and passively collected activity data, provide clinically accurate and meaningful insights about functional capacity in patients with CVD."


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