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Information 2018, 9(11), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/info9110271

Remotely Monitoring Cancer-Related Fatigue Using the Smart-Phone: Results of an Observational Study

1
Wearable Computing Lab, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
2
University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich, Switzerland
3
University of Zurich, Switzerland
4
Clinic Zugersee, Center for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Oberwil-Zug, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 25 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue e-Health Pervasive Wireless Applications and Services (e-HPWAS'17))
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Abstract

Cancer related fatigue is a chronic disease that may persist up to 10 years after successful cancer treatment and is one of the most prevalent problems in cancer survivors. Cancer related fatigue is a complex symptom that is not yet explained completely and there are only a few remedies with proven evidence. Patients do not necessarily follow a treatment plan with regular follow ups. As a consequence, physicians lack of knowledge how their patients are coping with their fatigue in daily life. To overcome this knowledge gap, we developed a smartphone-based monitoring system. A developed Android app provides activity data from smartphone sensors and applies experience based sampling to collect the patients’ subjective perceptions of their fatigue and interference of fatigue with the patients’ daily life. To evaluate the monitoring system in an observational study, we recruited seven patients suffering from cancer related fatigue and tracked them over two to three weeks. We collected around 2700 h of activity data and over 500 completed questionnaires. We analysed the average completion of answering the digital questionnaires and the wearing time of the smartphone. A within-subject analysis of the perceived fatigue, its interference and measured physical activity yielded in patient specific fatigue and activity patterns depending on the time of day. Physical activity level correlated stronger with the interference of fatigue than with the fatigue itself and the variance of the acceleration correlates stronger than absolute activity values. With this work, we provide a monitoring system used for cancer related fatigue. We show with an observational study that the monitoring system is accepted by our study cohort and that it provides additional details about the perceived fatigue and physical activity to a weekly paper-based questionnaire. View Full-Text
Keywords: fatigue; cancer survivor; remote monitoring; activity tracking fatigue; cancer survivor; remote monitoring; activity tracking
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Klaas, V.C.; Troster, G.; Walt, H.; Jenewein, J. Remotely Monitoring Cancer-Related Fatigue Using the Smart-Phone: Results of an Observational Study. Information 2018, 9, 271.

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