A smartwatch-based service towards home exercise therapy for patients with peripheral arterial disease

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



Utilizing a consumer-grade smartwatch in conjunction with a prescribed exercise therapy plan can help to reduce the patient-level entry barriers into programs designed for patients with peripheral arterial disease, which affects millions of people worldwide. Currently, the alternative to this physical therapy plan is surgical therapy which costs between 3 and 5 billion annually. This paper presents the development and testing of WalkCoach app, a smart service system integrating a consumer-grade smartwatch (Polar M600) in the monitoring of supervised walking exercises. By monitoring a participant's baseline activity and improvements with time, it will be possible to provide personalized exercise prescriptions that can be easily modified or personalized to adjust and optimize for improved walking ability as the therapy progresses. This paper demonstrates the accuracy of the smartwatch-based WalkCoach app in a pilot cohort study of 10 healthy older adults (>65 yrs) who were recruited to perform a 400m overground walking task. Results are promising and show that the consumer-grade smartwatch accurately measures steps (step count = 637) compared to a video/manual step count (650 steps; Pearson's r = 0.96, P <0.001). In the future, WalkCoach will be improved to produce granular analytics on a patient's compliance and performance to the supervised walking exercises.

Publication Title

Proceedings - 2019 IEEE International Conference on Smart Computing, SMARTCOMP 2019