Smartphone in your pocket reveals your risk of dying for 5 years

Smartphone in your pocket reveals your risk of dying for 5 years

Smartphone in your pocket reveals your risk of dying for 5 years

The phone’s sensors capture the intensity of motion and may be best suited for conditions like congestive HF or COPD.

According to a study published this week, the smartphone in your pocket can predict your 5-year risk of dying, all without the need for special apps, activity trackers or watches.

Passively collecting just 6 minutes of walking data from a smartphone’s built-in motion sensors accurately predicted the risk of all-cause mortality among participants in the UK Biobank study, says Bruce Schatz, PhD (Urbana-Champagne, Illinois) University), and colleagues reported online October 20, 2022, in PLOS Digital Health,

“We wanted to see if we could find the equivalent of more controlled hospital run trials and only use the inputs for the models that a phone can provide,” Schatz told TCTMD, noting that Smartphone’s motion sensors are capturing the intensity of walking. “It’s about the quality of physical activity,” he said. “It’s very different from the smart watches we usually use. With smart watches, they’re capturing how many minutes a day you’re active. It’s counting steps, which is more about quantity. “

I believe this most likely raises heart problems in patients who have recently decreased in their function or people who didn’t even know there was a problem. Bruce Darling

It is well known that there is a strong relationship between physical activity levels and all-cause mortality. About a decade ago, Schatz said a discussion with physicians led him to speculate whether there might be a way to passively track people in their daily lives — as opposed to their smartwatches or fitness regimens. Trackers are wearing out – and whether it can be used to predict current and future health status.

“At the time, we expected things like ‘smart clothes’ with sensors on the top and bottom of the body, but the device that emerged was the phone,” he said. “We asked, can we do anything medically useful by just carrying the phone around? I have to admit that many people, including me, hadn’t thought about it. It turns out that many common ailments, especially from things like heart and lung diseases, congestive heart failure, and COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]There are specific motions that can be used to predict the situation.”

Specialist health care professionals, Schatz said, can generally identify patients’ current health status based on their gait and ability to walk. “People have a very specific speed—they’ll slow down or stop to catch their breath, for example—and we knew this was something you could catch even with cheap equipment,” he explained.

continuous, short-term monitoring

In previous studies, researchers showed that data obtained from the phone’s motion sensors, which cardiopulmonary patients performed the standard 6-minute walk test, performed accurately. estimated pulmonary function measured by spirometry. Similarly, data from the phone’s motion sensors can be accurately predict oxygen saturation level in cardiopulmonary patients. That study also showed that motion sensors could predict patients’ transitions between levels of health status.

With this in mind, Schatz and colleagues wanted to determine whether motion sensors in phones could predict all-cause mortality. To do this, they turned to data from the UK Biobank study, a massive database with genetic and health information for nearly 500,000 people. As part of that study, 100,655 participants wore an activity monitor with a motion sensor on their wrist for 1 week. From these activity monitors, the researchers extracted sensor inputs that would be available even on cheap, currently available phones. The investigators say the walking intensity’s raw sensor data was captured in twelve 30-second bursts, and these 6 minutes represent a daily live version of the standard walk test.

With a machine-learning model, they analyzed motion sensor data and mortality in about 10% of patients and developed an algorithm from sensor input to measure a 5-year risk of all-cause mortality using acceleration over 6 minutes. guesses. In the whole group, the predictive model had a C-index of 0.76 and 0.73 at 1 and 5 years, respectively.

According to the investigators, the algorithm’s predictive accuracy is comparable to gait speed and other active measures of walking speed, using physical walking tests and self-reported questionnaires.

In terms of clinical implications, Schatz envisions that smartphone monitoring of physical activity could help clinicians better assess and track patients. For example, the data can be used to provide a continuous prediction of all-cause mortality at 6-month intervals in patients over a certain age or in patients with worrying test results. Another area where smartphones could be helpful would be in assessing changes in status in at-risk patients, such as patients with congestive heart failure or those with COPD.

“The phones are already connected to a network, so you can get the data to a backend that analyzes and puts it in an electronic medical record,” Schatz said. “When I used to talk to the people in the hospital, I used to say that this is the home version of the medical alert. Most hospitals have programs that run all the time and look for unusual occurrences that they must flag and pass on to physicians. The aim was to convert a cheap phone into a medical device.

Schatz stressed that even though none of the current research is directly related to heart disease, he believes this is the area where it would be most useful.

“CVD is difficult to detect in everyday life without hospital visits,” he said. “Screening isn’t perfect, but it can pick up cases you don’t usually see. That’s the real value. I believe it most likely raises heart problems in patients who have recently Those who have slackened in their work in the past or those who didn’t even know there was a problem.”

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