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Smartphone Pedometer Sensor Application for Evaluating Disease Activity and Predicting Comorbidities in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Validation Study

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Smartphone-based pedometer sensor telemedicine applications could be useful for measuring disease activity and predicting the risk of developing comorbidities, such as pulmonary or cardiovascular disease, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the sensors have not been validated in this patient population. The aim of this study was to validate step counting with an activity-tracking application running the inbuilt Android smartphone pedometer virtual sensor in patients with RA. Two Android-based smartphones were tested in a treadmill test-bed setup at six walking speeds and compared to manual step counting as the gold standard. Guided by a facilitator, the participants walked 100 steps at each test speed, from 2.5 km/h to 5 km/h, wearing both devices simultaneously in a stomach pouch. A computer automatically recorded both the manually observed and the sensor step count. The overall difference in device step counts versus the observed was 5.9% mean absolute percentage error. Highest mean error was at the 2.5 km/h speed tests, where the mean error of the two devices was 18.5%. Both speed and cadence were negatively correlated to the absolute percentage error, which indicates that the greater the speed and cadence, the lower the resulting step counting error rate. There was no correlation between clinical parameters and absolute percentage error. In conclusion, the activity-tracking application using the inbuilt Android smartphone pedometer virtual sensor is valid for step counting in patients with RA. However, walking at very low speed and cadence may represent a challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9396
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

    Research areas

  • activity tracker, comorbidity, pedometer, rheumatoid arthritis, smartphone

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