A new study conducted at Stanford University shows that healthcare providers could assess a patient’s cardiovascular weakness remotely using the sensors on the Apple Watch and iPhone.
If you’ve ever been tested at your doctor’s surgery, you’ll know it’s not particularly suitable. A blood pressure test, for example, can lead to an abnormally high reading because the patient wants to be in a medical condition. So there is definitely an advantage in taking some measurements at home instead.
The study, published by PLOS ONE, equipped 110 patients who were expecting cardiac-related procedures, for example, with an iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 3 with a dedicated VascTrac research app and followed for six months.
It looked at how a routine, six-minute walking test was performed in a clinic visit, compared to the same test completed at home using the VascTrac app. The app would collect data such as step counts in the background.
In the six-minute trial, there was an explanation for weakness walking less than 330 yards or 300 meters in the intra-clinic trial. The VascTrac app was able to assess vulnerability with high sensitivity (90%) while the same test was performed at home and measured in the app at a slightly lower sensitivity level, 83%.
Rates for specificity were also lower than in the clinical setting, falling from 85% to 60%. However, these levels are considered high enough to be useful and the passive data collected at home is considered “almost as accurate as predicting sensitivity”.
The study, published this week, concluded, “This finding shows that weakness and functional capacity can be studied and assessed at a distance in patients with cardiovascular disease, enabling postoperative and advanced examination of patients. ”
The report contains much more detail, such as the types of cardiovascular interventions the patients in the study were awaiting, and the type of data collected. This included steps taken each day, steps walked non-stop for over a minute and total walking distance. The Apple Watch is perfectly fine at this point, especially once you’re designed using an outdoor tour or run that lasts more than 20 minutes.
Remote examination not only reduces stress for the patient, it also frees up time for medical professionals and increases the level of information your doctor has.
And since the hardware used is far from the most advanced from Apple, it means there is a high probability that a patient would have easy access to possible results.
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