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Stanford study finds Apple Watch can accurately assess frailty

Frailty can be determined using a six-minute walking test (6MWT).

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Apple Watch Series 3

The Apple Watch can accurately determine a user’s “frailty,” according to a recently-published study from Stanford University.

As reported by MyHealthApple, the Apple Watch was able to accurately assess frailty with a sensitivity of 90 percent and specificity of 85 percent in a supervised clinical setting. And in an unsupervised setting at home, the Watch was able to accurately assess frailty with a sensitivity of 83 percent and specificity of 60 percent.

The study was conducted between May 2018 to May 2019 by Stanford University researchers and was funded by Apple. During the study, 110 Veterans Affairs patients with cardiovascular disease were provided with an iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 3. The patients conducted regular at-home six-minute walking tests (6MWT) and compared the results to their standard in-clinic 6MWT performance.

This finding suggests that frailty and functional capacity could be monitored and evaluated remotely in patients with cardiovascular disease, enabling safer and higher resolution monitoring of patients.

Frailty can be determined using a six-minute walking test (6MWT). This feature was introduced in watchOS 7 and can be found in the Health app on your iPhone. Apple describes it as a “golden standard” to evaluate the functional mobility and exercise capacity of a patient. Higher the scores on the 6MWT, healthier the “cardiac, respiratory, circulatory, and neuromuscular function,” according to Apple.

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