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Smartphone-Based Study of Cardiovascular Health Feasible

Tracking activity with the devices is cheaper, more reliable that conventional methods

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THURSDAY, Dec. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Smartphones could assist cardiac research by giving instant, accurate insight into the physical activity of people using them, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in JAMA Cardiology.

Euan Ashley, M.B., Ch.B., D.Phil., an associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., and colleagues enlisted subjects via a free iPhone app called MyHeart Counts. The researchers enrolled 48,968 Americans across all 50 states, and were able to track data about the physical activity of 4,990 participants who took a six-minute walking fitness test.

The researchers found that individuals who were active throughout the day, and not just once for a fairly short session, exhibited better cardiovascular health. And those who mostly exercised on the weekend and went to bed early tended to be healthier.

"A smartphone-based study of cardiovascular health is feasible, and improvements in participant diversity and engagement will maximize yield from consented participants," the authors write. "Large-scale, real-world assessment of physical activity, fitness, and sleep using mobile devices may be a useful addition to future population health studies."

Stanford University received in-kind (software development) support from Apple.

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