Functional recovery in the elderly after major surgery: assessment of mobility recovery using wireless technology

Ann Thorac Surg. 2013 Sep;96(3):1057-61. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2013.05.092.


Purpose: Hospitalization and surgery in older patients often leads to a loss of strength, mobility, and functional capacity. We tested the hypothesis that wireless accelerometry could be used to measure mobility during hospital recovery after cardiac surgery.

Description: We used an off-the-shelf fitness monitor to measure daily mobility in patients after surgery. Data were transmitted wirelessly, aggregated, and configured onto a provider-viewable dashboard.

Evaluation: Wireless monitoring of mobility after major surgery was easy and practical. There was a significant relationship between the number of steps taken in the early recovery period, length of stay, and dismissal disposition.

Conclusions: Wireless monitoring of mobility after major surgery creates an opportunity for early identification and intervention in individual patients and could serve as a tool to evaluate and improve the process of care and to affect postdischarge outcomes.

Keywords: 18.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobility Limitation
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Muscle Weakness / diagnosis*
  • Muscle Weakness / etiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Postoperative Care / methods
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Wireless Technology*