Do Wearable Technology-based Interventions Benefit Patients with Cardiometabolic Conditions?

A recently published systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the impact of accelerometer- and pedometer-based interventions on improved health outcomes, including increased activity, in adults with cardiometabolic conditions including diabetes, prediabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. To conduct their research, the study authors queried MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health, and PsycINFO from inception through August 2018 for relevant trials. Eligible studies were randomized clinical trials or cluster randomized clinical trials that analyzed the use of wearable technology devices as motivating and monitoring tools for increasing physical activity. No language restriction was used. A total of 5,762 references were obtained through the search after eliminating duplicates. The main outcome measure was short- to medium-term (postintervention to eight months’ follow-up) objectively calculated physical activity. Final analysis included 36 studies comprised of 5,208 total patients evaluating the use of accelerometers (n = 20) and pedometers (n = 16). An analysis found that 32 trials (4,856 total patients) showed medium improvements in physical activity; combined data on accelerometers and pedometers compared to comparator in studies with short to medium follow-up over a mean 32 weeks showed a small but significant increase in overall physical activity (standardized mean difference, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.28-0.51; I2 = 60% [95% CI, 41%-73%]). In multivariable metaregression analysis, an improved association was observed with physical activity for interventions including face-to-face consultation sessions with facilitators (β = 0.36; 95% CI, 0.17-0.55; P<0.001) and pedometer-based interventions (β = 0.30; 95% CI, 0.08-0.52; P=0.002). The researchers concluded their article by writing, “Understanding the association between accelerometer- and pedometer-based interventions and [physical activity] over the longer term could have major implications in the care of people with cardiometabolic conditions.”