Can Activity Monitors Help you to Measure Up?

Activity MonitorWith Christmas over and New Year’s resolutions in full swing, some may find themselves monitoring their movement with devices like the Fitbit. This, and similar devices on the market, contain an accelerometer and a light sensor to monitor movement as well as sleep and wake cycles. These devices allow the measure movements and sleep, and provide valuable insight into progress.

Recently, the drug maker Biogen gave such devices to 250 patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) to track their sleep and activity. Much like those with fibromyalgia, sufferers of MS frequently experience sleep disturbances and debilitating fatigue. During this ongoing study the recipients of these devices will download the data logged on the device with Biogen. While the results are not out yet, it is an interesting approach that will enable patients to more accurately track their own disease progression and compare their results with reference standards.

We are currently using a similar device in one of our studies to track changes in activity and sleep after application of a pain reducing medication.  At the University of Florida Pain and Fatigue Research Center, we are working on the mechanisms of chronic pain and fatigue. For more information, please give us a call at 352-265-8901, or email us at