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Fitbit gadget could improve hospital care

InformationWeek, September 11, 2013
A $100 wireless accelerometer from Fitbit -- normally used by healthy people to measure their daily exercise progress -- could revolutionize hospital care and perhaps post-acute care as well. In a paper published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., reported that attaching the accelerometer to the ankles of elderly patients recovering from elective cardiac surgery in the hospital enabled clinicians to measure how many steps each patient took on each day after their operations. This first-of-its-kind experiment showed the association between a patient's post-surgical mobility and length of stay and his or her discharge disposition to a skilled nursing facility, home health care or independent living at home.