Apple Watch Can Accurately Assess Frailty, Finds Stanford Study

The Apple Watch can accurately determine a user's "frailty," according to the findings of a recently-published study from Stanford University (via MyHealthyApple).

apple watch ecg
Frailty can be determined using a six-minute walking test (6MWT), and the metric is a general standard used to evaluate the functional mobility and exercise capacity of a patient. Higher scores indicate "healthier cardiac, respiratory, circulatory, and neuromuscular function," according to Apple.

Conducted by Stanford University researchers and funded by Apple, the study provided 110 Veterans Affairs patients with cardiovascular disease with an iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 3. Patients conducted regular at-home six-minute walking tests, which were then compared to their standard in-clinic 6MWT performance.

The study found that an Apple Watch was able to accurately assess frailty with a sensitivity of 90 percent and specificity of 85 percent when supervised in a clinical setting. When assessed in an unsupervised setting at home, the Apple Watch was able to accurately assess frailty with a sensitivity of 83 percent and specificity of 60 percent.

The findings indicate that passive activity data gathered by the Apple Watch is an accurate predictor of in-clinic 6MWT performance.

In this longitudinal observational study, passive activity data acquired by an iPhone and Apple Watch were an accurate predictor of 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.

While the study used a specially-developed app called "VascTrac" to gather 6MWT data alongside the Apple Watch's passively-collected activity data, Apple has since included a series of new mobility-related health metrics in watchOS 7, including the 6MWT. It is likely that preliminary data from studies such as this encouraged Apple to add the metrics in watchOS 7.

The research may urge healthcare providers to offer at-home assessment of functional capacity in cardiovascular disease patients using an Apple Watch.

Related Forum: Apple Watch

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Top Rated Comments

citysnaps Avatar
41 months ago

"According to Apple...." hmmmm
"The Apple Watch can accurately determine a user's "frailty," according to the findings of a recently-published study ('https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247834') from Stanford University (via MyHealthyApple ('https://www.myhealthyapple.com/apple-watch-and-iphone-can-be-used-for-remote-monitoring-according-to-new-stanford-study-results/'))."
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsareveryinteresting Avatar
41 months ago
I bet there is a lot of things on the Apple Watch that we probably don’t know about quite yet.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
41 months ago

"The Apple Watch can accurately determine a user's "frailty," according to the findings of a recently-published study ('https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247834') from Stanford University (via MyHealthyApple ('https://www.myhealthyapple.com/apple-watch-and-iphone-can-be-used-for-remote-monitoring-according-to-new-stanford-study-results/'))."
Debunking posts where the poster doesn't seem to read the article is a full-time job.

However, as others have said, it's interesting the tidbits related to health that comes out regarding the Apple Watch.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jmgregory1 Avatar
41 months ago
My wife and I have been trying to convince her mom to let us get her a Watch, given she has both heart issues and has fallen twice in the past couple of years, with the most recent fall requiring her to live with us for 3 months for recovery. She’s back home again, so I should just get her one for our piece of mind.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
7thson Avatar
41 months ago

My wife and I have been trying to convince her mom to let us get her a Watch, given she has both heart issues and has fallen twice in the past couple of years, with the most recent fall requiring her to live with us for 3 months for recovery. She’s back home again, so I should just get her one for our piece of mind.
Do it. Worst case scenario is she doesn’t wear it. It’s cheap for the convenience and peace of mind it will give you if she decides to use it. It can be hard convincing older folks to adapt to new tech but it’s worth a try.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
41 months ago
This is very good news especially with people with underlying problems they may not know about.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)