Use of wearable activity tracker in patients wi cancer undergoing chemotherapy: Toward evaluating risk of unplanned health care encounters

Tanachat Nilanon, Luciano P. Nocera, Alexander S. Martin, Anand Kolatkar, Marcella May, Zaki Hasnain, Naoto T. Ueno, Sriram Yennu, Angela Alexander, Aaron E. Mejia, Roger Wilson Boles, Ming Li, Jerry S.H. Lee, Sean E. Hanlon, Frankie A. Cozzens Philips, David I. Quinn, Paul K. Newton, Joan Broderick, Cyrus Shahabi, Peter KuhnJorge J. Nieva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


PURPOSE Unplanned health care encounters (UHEs) such as emergency room visits can occur commonly during cancer chemotherapy treatments. Patients at an increased risk of UHEs are typically identified by clinicians using performance status (PS) assessments based on a descriptive scale, such as the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) scale. Such assessments can be bias prone, resulting in PS score disagreements between assessors. We therefore propose to evaluate PS using physical activity measurements (eg, energy expenditure) from wearable activity trackers. Specifically, we examined the feasibility of using a wristband (band) and a smartphone app for PS assessments. METHODS We conducted an observational study on a cohort of patients with solid tumor receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy. Patients were instructed to wear the band for a 60-day activity-tracking period. During clinic visits, we obtained ECOG scores assessed by physicians, coordinators, and patients themselves. UHEs occurring during the activity-tracking period plus a 90-day follow-up period were later compiled. We defined our primary outcome as the percentage of patients adherent to band-wear ≥ 80% of 10 AM to 8 PM for ≥ 80% of the activity-tracking period. In an exploratory analysis, we computed hourly metabolic equivalent of task (MET) and counted 10 AM to 8 PM hours with . 1.5 METs as nonsedentary physical activity hours. RESULTS Forty-one patients completed the study (56.1% female; 61.0% age 40-60 years); 68% were adherent to band-wear. ECOG score disagreement between assessors ranged from 35.3% to 50.0%. In our exploratory analysis, lower average METs and nonsedentary hours, but not higher ECOG scores, were associated with higher 150-day UHEs. CONCLUSION The use of a wearable activity tracker is generally feasible in a similar population of patients with cancer. A larger randomized controlled trial should be conducted to confirm the association between lower nonsedentary hours and higher UHEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-853
Number of pages15
JournalJCO Clinical Cancer Informatics
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


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