Patients who undergo transsphenoidal surgery can experience hormonal, electrolyte, and fluid disturbances in the postoperative period leading to outpatient readmissions for medical management. Our goal was to determine whether use of a wrist-mounted physiologic tracking device is feasible in this setting and whether changes or trends in these parameters after discharge can help predict aberrant physiology in these patients.
Wrist-mounted physiologic tracking devices that transmit data via Bluetooth to a mobile device were used to monitor patients. Preoperative baseline data and postoperative data were aggregated daily to compare within-patient and between-patient trends.
Of 11 patients enrolled in the study, 1 was readmitted for symptomatic hyponatremia. Device data completeness ranged from 78 to 93% with the exception of oxygen saturation (25% completeness). The patient with hyponatremia had a significantly lower baseline level of activity compared with other patients. Nonreadmitted patient activity variables (steps, calories, and distance) decreased by 48–52% after the operation (P < 0.001). The activity variables for the patient with hyponatremia were statistically unchanged after the operation; however, the patient did experience a significant decrease in heart rate compared with baseline.
Deployment of a wrist-based physiologic tracking device is feasible for surgical patients in elective clinical practice. Overall, the device was associated with good patient adherence and high patient satisfaction. Patient activity significantly decreased after surgery. A significant decrease in heart rate was detected in a patient with hyponatremia who required readmission, which reflects the known intravascular volume expansion in this state.