Abstract 15626: Physical Activity Tracking Studies: The Effect of an Entirely Mobile (mHealth) Platform for Data Capture
Background: In most prior activity tracking pedometer trials, physical activity had to be manually recorded by participating subjects. As a result, these trials have reported missing pedometer data in up to 45% of subjects. Mobile health (mHealth) real-time activity tracking interventions offer a possible solution for increasing participant engagement, streamlining study coordination, and increasing adherence.
Methods: The mActive trial (NCT01917812), a 5-week blinded, randomized mHealth trial of digital activity tracking and “smart” text messaging, enrolled 48 adult cardiology patients at a single academic medical center. Eligible participants were smartphone users who reported a low amount of leisure time physical activity. Low energy Bluetooth capable pedometers were paired to participants’ smartphones, and digital activity data was continuously uploaded in real-time. Subjects received an automated weekly email reminding them to wear their pedometer, and targeted emails if data upload was incomplete for three consecutive days. Data capture throughout the study, the primary outcome of this analysis, was calculated by dividing the number of days with activity data by the total number of trial days.
Results: The 48 subjects had mean age of 58 ± 8 years and 46% were female. A total of 5 (~10%) participants lost their wearable device and required a replacement. Research coordinators electronically contacted 20 (~42%) subjects via email to re-sync their device to ensure automatic data capture. Overall data capture for the mActive trial was 97.4%, the highest capture rate reported for an activity tracking trial.
Conclusions: The mActive trial experience highlights the benefits and challenges associated with an mHealth trial. With daily electronic monitoring of participants, quick responses to lost devices and questions, and automated email reminders, mActive was able to achieve nearly complete data capture without in-person visits or follow-up. The platform on which the mActive trial ran is fully scalable to large trials.
Author Disclosures: D.I. Feldman: None. S.S. Martin: None. M.J. Blaha: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.