Application of smart bracelet to monitor frailty-related gait parameters of older Chinese adults: A preliminary study.

Research paper by Runting R Zhong, Pei-Luen Patrick PP Rau, Xinghui X Yan

Indexed on: 15 Aug '18Published on: 15 Aug '18Published in: Geriatrics & Gerontology International


Smart bracelets are popular today. Based on their built-in motion sensors, they can serve as a cost-effective method of gait assessment in home-based care. Few studies have applied smart bracelets in the gait assessment of older Chinese adults. The present study aimed to: (i) establish reference gait parameters of older Chinese adults using smart bracelets under single and dual task; and (ii) explore the differences in gait parameters among non-frail and pre-frail Chinese older adults. A total of 50 community-dwelling older Chinese adults aged ≥50 years wore a smart bracelet sensor in the L3 region of the back and underwent a 10-m walking test under single- and dual-task conditions. Participants were preliminarily classified into non-frail and pre-frail groups based on the Fatigue, Resistance, Ambulation, Illnesses and Loss of Weight scale. Gait parameters including average walking speed, step frequency, root mean square (RMS), acceleration amplitude variability, step variability, step regularity and step symmetry were calculated based on the data exported from the bracelet. Multivariate analysis of covariance (mancova) analysis showed that older adults had significantly decreased speed and step frequency (P < 0.05) under the dual cognitive task condition. Pre-frail older adults showed significantly decreased speed, mediolateral RMS, vertical RMS, anteroposterior RMS, vertical amplitude variability and vertical step regularity compared with non-frail older adults (P < 0.05). The present study suggested that the decline in gait parameters as a result of frailty could be detected by the smart bracelet sensor. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2018; ••: ••-••. © 2018 Japan Geriatrics Society.