Apple Watch for Cancer patient monitoring

Glioblastoma is a type of cancer that starts as the growth of cells in the brain or spinal cord. It grows quickly and can invade and destroy healthy tissue. Headaches, seizures and change in mental function are typically the first symptoms of glioblastoma. 

Glioblastoma is the most common primary malignant brain tumor in adults, with a near-universal rate of recurrence, and reports low median survivals of between 14 and 18 months, even with maximal therapy. 

Medical researchers at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center are hoping that the Apple Watch will become a valuable tool for remote monitoring of Glioblastoma patients.

Researchers are trying to assess if the Apple Watch can help detect changes in symptoms during the course of cancer treatment.

Ultimately, the hope is that this knowledge can be used to design proactive tools and signatures that can predict complications or symptom changes before they happen. 

Integration of wearable devices into clinical care has accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s boost in the development of telehealth services. The increasing accessibility and affordability of wearable technology have also allowed for new possibilities to deliver remote and timely care to participants.

This study will ask participants to wear an Apple watch and document any health events or symptoms. Patterns will be analyzed within the captured data that may be associated with symptoms.

By annotating symptomatic episodes, the study is aimed to generate contextualized wearable sensor datasets that do not currently exist for glioblastoma participants and develop digital biomarkers for certain symptoms.

For instance, abnormal variations in heart rate or breathing rate will be observed preceding a seizure or other transient neurological symptoms.

The researchers are leveraging Apple’s open-source framework, ResearchKit to build the app and securely collect data.

The study is expected to start in April 2024 and is expected to complete in 2025. The research will be done at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Source: Cleveland Clinic Clinical trial

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