Apple Watch May Accurately Assess Frailty, Finds Stanford Study

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The Apple See can accurately determine a user's "frailty," in line with the findings of a recently-published analysis from Stanford University (via MyHealthyApple).

Frailty can be determined using a six-minute walking test (6MWT), and the metric is an over-all standard used to judge the functional mobility and work out capacity of an individual. Higher scores indicate "healthier cardiac, respiratory, circulatory, and neuromuscular function," regarding to Apple.

Conducted by Stanford University experts and funded simply by Apple, the analysis provided 110 Veterans Affairs clients with coronary disease with an iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 3. Patients conducted regular at-house six-minute walking tests, that have been then compared to their typical in-clinic 6MWT performance.

The study found that an Apple Watch could accurately assess frailty with a sensitivity of 90 percent and specificity of 85 percent when supervised in a clinical setting. When assessed within an unsupervised setting at home, the Apple Watch could accurately determine frailty with a sensitivity of 83 percent and specificity of 60 percent.

The findings indicate that passive activity info gathered by the Apple Watch is an accurate predictor of in-clinic 6MWT performance.

In this longitudinal observational analysis, passive activity info acquired by an ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch were a precise predictor of in-clinic 6MWT performance. This finding suggests that frailty and functional ability could be monitored and evaluated remotely in clients with cardiovascular disease, allowing safer and higher image resolution monitoring of patients.

As the study used a specially-developed iphone app called "VascTrac" to assemble 6MWT data alongside the Apple Watch's passively-collected activity data, Apple has since included a series of new mobility-related health metrics in watchOS 7, including the 6MWT. Chances are that preliminary data from studies like this encouraged Apple to include the metrics in ‌watchOS 7‌.

The research may well urge healthcare providers to provide at-house assessment of functional capacity in coronary disease patients using an Apple Watch.

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