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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients with intrinsic cardiac cause for falling have been found to be frail and submissive to morbidity and mortality as post-operative outcomes. In these older CVD patients, gait speed is conjectured by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) as an independent predictor of post-operative morbidity and mortality. However, this guideline by STS has not been studied adequately with a large sample size; rather it is based largely on expert opinions of cardiac surgeons and researchers. Although one’s gait speed is not completely associated with one’s risk of falls, gait speed is a quick robust measure to classify frail/non-frail CVD patients and undoubtedly frail individuals are more prone to falls. Thus, this study examines the effects of inertial sensor-based quick movement variability characteristics in identifying CVD patients likely to have an adverse post-operative outcome. This study establishes a relationship with gait and postural predictor variables with patient’s post-operative adverse outcomes. Accordingly, inertial sensors embedded inside smartphones are indispensable for the assessment of elderly patients in clinical environments and may be necessary for quick objective assessment. Sixteen elderly CVD patients (Age 76.1 ± 3.6 years) who were scheduled for cardiac surgery the next day were recruited for this study. Based on STS recommendation guidelines, eight of the CVD patients were classified as frail (prone to adverse outcomes with gait speed ≤ 0.833 m/s) and the other eight patients as non-frail (gait speed > 0.833 m/s). Smartphone-derived walking velocity was found to be significantly lower in frail patients than that in non-frail patients (p < 0.01). Mean Center of Pressure (COP) radius (p < 0.01), COP Area (p < 0.01), COP path length (p < 0.05) and mean COP velocity (p < 0.05) were found to be significantly higher in frail patients than that in the non-frail patient group. Nonlinear variability measures such as sample entropy were significantly lower in frail participants in anterior-posterior (p < 0.01) and resultant sway direction (p < 0.01) than in the non-frail group. This study identified numerous postural and movement variability parameters that offer insights into predictive inertial sensor-based variables and post-operative adverse outcomes among CVD patients. In future, smartphone-based clinical measurement systems could serve as a clinical decision support system for assessing patients quickly in the perioperative period.


This article was originally published in Sensors, volume 18, in 2018. DOI: 10.3390/s18061792

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