LOS ANGELES — Proof is lacking that wearable biosensors are improving patient outcomes like blood pressure and weight, according to a study by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
The study was published in a recent issue of the new Nature Partner Journal, npj Digital Medicine.
“As of now, we don’t have enough evidence that they consistently change clinical outcomes in a meaningful way,” said Dr. Brennan Spiegel, senior author of the study and director of health services research at Cedars-Sinai, said in a statement. “But that doesn’t mean they can’t.”
The study found that remote patient monitoring with biosensors had no statistically significant impact on any of six clinical outcomes studied: body mass index, weight, waist circumference, body fat percentage, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The analysis found that these devices did show early promise in improving outcomes for certain conditions, including obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson’s disease, hypertension and low back pain.
“There is a big difference between using these sensors to track sleep for self-betterment and using them make medical decisions,” said Michelle Keller, co-author and a clinical research specialist at the Cedars-Sinai Center for Outcomes Research and Education, in a statement.
Investigators did a statistical analysis and in-depth literature review of 27 studies from 13 countries published between January 2000 and October 2016. Each study examined the effects of remote patient monitoring using wearable biosensors including physical activity trackers, blood pressure monitors, electrocardiograms, electronic weight scales, accelerometers and pulse oximeters. The interventions targeted patients who were overweight or suffering from heart disease, lung disease, chronic pain, stroke, or Parkinson’s.
A statistical analysis of the relevant literature revealed that remote patient monitoring resulted in no significant impact on any of the reported clinical outcomes.