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Gait speed assessment increases the predictive value of mortality and morbidity following older adults’ cardiac surgery. The purpose of this study was to improve clinical assessment and prediction of mortality and morbidity among older patients undergoing cardiac surgery through the identification of the relationships between preoperative gait and postural stability characteristics utilizing a noninvasive-wearable mobile phone device and postoperative cardiac surgical outcomes. This research was a prospective study of ambulatory patients aged over 70 years undergoing non-emergent cardiac surgery. Sixteen older adults with cardiovascular disease (Age 76.1 ± 3.6 years) scheduled for cardiac surgery within the next 24 h were recruited for this study. As per the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) recommendation guidelines, eight of the cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients were classified as frail (prone to adverse outcomes with gait speed ≤0.833 m/s) and the remaining eight patients as non-frail (gait speed >0.833 m/s). Treating physicians and patients were blinded to gait and posture assessment results not to influence the decision to proceed with surgery or postoperative management. Follow-ups regarding patient outcomes were continued until patients were discharged or transferred from the hospital, at which time data regarding outcomes were extracted from the records. In the preoperative setting, patients performed the 5-m walk and stand still for 30 s in the clinic while wearing a mobile phone with a customized app “Lockhart Monitor” available at iOS App Store. Systematic evaluations of different gait and posture measures identified a subset of smartphone measures most sensitive to differences in two groups (frail versus non-frail) with adverse postoperative outcomes (morbidity/mortality). A regression model based on these smartphone measures tested positive on five CVD patients. Thus, clinical settings can readily utilize mobile technology, and the proposed regression model can predict adverse postoperative outcomes such as morbidity or mortality events.


This article was originally published in Sensors, volume 21, in 2021.

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