Physician Monitoring of FitBit Use for Patient Health

Glob Adv Health Med. 2021 May 21;10:21649561211018999. doi: 10.1177/21649561211018999. eCollection 2021.


BACKGROUND: Physical activity is a critical component of health.

OBJECTIVE: We implemented a pilot project to determine feasibility of embedding activity tracker data within routine primary care visits among family medicine residency patients. This study also examined whether physician monitoring of and feedback concerning tracker improves exercise compliance and overall health.

METHODS: Twenty-six participants received the FitBit Charge HR and were randomized into the self-monitoring (control) or intervention group for 12 weeks. The intervention group received weekly electronic health record (EHR) messages from their physician with feedback. The control group self-monitored activity.

RESULTS: Data demonstrates patient interest in sharing exercise data with primary providers, patient-generated exercise data can be embedded within visits to personalize recommendations, and patient-physician data sharing is logistically feasible via the EHR.

CONCLUSION: Physicians can utilize activity trackers to potentially positively influence patients’ exercise. This research supports the shift toward personalized medicine by facilitating conversations and additional studies about fitness data.

PMID:34104577 | PMC:PMC8145580 | DOI:10.1177/21649561211018999