Fitness trackers prove helpful in monitoring cancer patients
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IMAGE: Fitness trackers, also known as wearable activity monitors, come in many models and brands. view more 

Credit: Cedars-Sinai

LOS ANGELES (July 24, 2018) — Fitness trackers can be valuable tools for assessing the quality of life and daily functioning of cancer patients during treatment, a new study has found. The trackers, also known as wearable activity monitors, include commercial devices worn on the wrist that log a wearer’s step counts, stairs climbed, calories, heart rate and sleep.

“One of the challenges in treating patients with advanced cancer is obtaining ongoing, timely, objective data about their physical status during therapy,” said Andrew Hendifar, MD, medical director for pancreatic cancer at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. “After all, patients typically spend most of their time at home or work, not in a clinic, and their health statuses change from day to day.”

Hendifar was the principal investigator and Gillian Gresham, PhD, postdoctoral scientist at the cancer institute, was the first author for the study, which was published online in the journal npj Digital Medicine.

The study focused on 37 patients undergoing treatment for advanced cancer at Cedars-Sinai. They wore wrist-mounted fitness trackers throughout the study except when showering

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