SAN DIEGO — Data collected from activity trackers, like Fitbit, can help predict elevated biomarkers of inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease, according to data presented at Digestive Disease Week.
Philip H. Sosssenheimer, MD, of the IBD Center at the University of Chicago, said that disease management in IBD is often reactive, leading to difficulties in relapse prediction and delays in communication. Measuring patient activity with wearable trackers presents an opportunity to proactively monitor disease.
“The nurses’ health study showed us that decreased physical activity levels increased the risk for subsequent diagnosis of IBD,” he said. “All of these metrics, heartrate, sleep quality and physical activity, are measurable by commercially available wearable devices.”
In a year-long prospective study, researchers provided patients with IBD with a Fitbit and proprietary smartphone app to collect data on daily steps, heart rate sleep patterns. They collected C-reactive protein and fecal calprotectin at baseline and at follow-up, as well as colonoscopy data to measure ongoing disease activity. They assessed the ability of the wearable devices to predict disease activity.
The final analysis of the study included data from 56 patients who had assessments of disease activity. Overall, these patients had 49 assessments for CRP, 21 for fecal calprotectin, 23 colonoscopies and 39 clinical disease assessments, of which 66 showed active disease, and 66 showed quiescent disease.
Researchers found that patients with active disease had fewer daily steps in the week before disease assessments, and daily steps were predictive of having active disease (mean 8,241 vs. 6,331, P < .001; area under the curve = 0.65; 95% CI, 0.61-0.69). Although patients with active disease had a higher resting heartrate in the week before assessment, resting heartrate was not predictive of active disease.
Although more research is needed, Sossenheimer said using wearable trackers to proactively assess disease activity in IBD is feasible.
“Disease activity in IBD is negative correlated with physical activity, positively correlated with resting heartrate and not clearly correlated in sleep quality,” he said. “It is possible to predict disease activity in IBD moderately well using data from biosensors and basic clinical characteristics alone.” – by Alex Young
Sossenheimer PH, et al. Abstract 539. Presented at: Digestive Disease Week; May 18-21, 2019; San Diego.
Disclosures: Sossenheimer reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the meeting disclosure index for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.