(HealthDay News) – Wireless technology can be used to monitor mobility after cardiac surgery in elderly patients, according to a study published in the September issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

David J. Cook, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and colleagues used an off-the-shelf fitness monitor to measure daily mobility in patients (aged >50 years) after cardiac surgery. Patient rooms had an antenna interfaced with the in-room computer; data collected from an accelerometer were transmitted wirelessly, aggregated, and configured onto a dashboard that was viewable by providers.

The researchers found that postoperative wireless monitoring of mobility was practical and easy. The number of steps taken in the early recovery period correlated significantly with length of stay and dismissal disposition.

“Wireless monitoring of mobility after major surgery was easy and practical. There was a significant relationship between the number of steps taken in the early recovery period, length of stay, and dismissal disposition in an older cardiac surgery population,” the authors write. “This opens the door for changing recovery models and improving outcomes in surgical practice.”

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