Physical activity monitors can be successfully implemented to assess perioperative activity in urologic surgery

Deepak K. Agarwal, Boyd R. Viers, Marcelino E. Rivera, Diedre A. Nienow, Igor Frank, Matthew K. Tollefson, Matthew T. Gettman


Background: Mobile health and physical activity monitors (PAMs) are emerging technologies allowing patients to track multiple health parameters. These parameters could be useful in monitoring and modifying the perioperative health of urology patients. We performed a pilot study and describe a model for which to implement mHealth applications in a urology population.
Methods: Patients undergoing robotic assisted retropubic prostatectomy were screened for inclusion and provided with Fitbit® Charge HRTM (Boston, MA, USA) devices. Patients were fitted with the device during the preoperative visit and instructed to wear before and after surgery. Biophysical data was collected and patient acceptance was assessed with a Mobile Physical Activity Monitor Questionnaire (MPAMQ). Results: Forty-six patients met inclusion criteria. Median duration of PAM usage was one and seven days preoperatively and postoperatively. Postoperatively, there was a reduction in median daily steps compared to preoperatively (2,782 vs. 3,907, P=0.024), but no statistically significant difference in minutes slept or nighttime awakenings. Obese (BMI ≥30) and older men (≥65 years) had a greater reduction in steps after surgery (P<0.001 and P=0.055), whereas there was no difference in non-obese and men age <65. Patients with BMI ≥30 took 35% fewer steps postoperatively than BMI <30 (P=0.017). The majority of patients (82%) reported a medical benefit and 95% were satisfied with using PAM technology in the perioperative period.
Conclusions: PAM effectively captures perioperative biophysical parameters and is associated with high patient satisfaction. Clinically, obese and elderly men appear to have significantly reduced activity following prostatectomy.