Use of Wearable Technology to Measure Activity in Orthopaedic Trauma Patients: A Systematic Review

Meir T. Marmor*, Bernd Grimm, Andrew M. Hanflik, Peter H. Richter, Sureshan Sivananthan, Seth Robert Yarboro, Benedikt J. Braun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) are widely used for measurement of functional outcomes after orthopaedic trauma. However, PROMs rely on patient collaboration and suffer from various types of bias. Wearable Activity Monitors (WAMs) are increasingly used to objectify functional assessment. The objectives of this systematic review were to identify and characterise the WAMs technology and metrics currently used for orthopaedic trauma research. Methods: PubMed and Embase biomedical literature search engines were queried. Eligibility criteria included: Human clinical studies published in the English language between 2010 and 2019 involving fracture management and WAMs. Variables collected from each article included: Technology used, vendor/product, WAM body location, metrics measured, measurement time period, year of publication, study geographic location, phase of treatment studied, fractures studied, number of patients studied, sex and age of the study subjects, and study level of evidence. Six investigators reviewed the resulting papers. Descriptive statistics of variables of interest were used to analyse the data. Results: One hundred and thirty-six papers were available for analysis, showing an increasing trend of publications per year. Accelerometry followed by plantar pressure insoles were the most commonly employed technologies. The most common location for WAM placement was insoles, followed by the waist. The most commonly studied fracture type was hip fractures followed by fragility fractures in general, ankle, "lower extremity", and tibial fractures. The rehabilitation phase following surgery was the most commonly studied period. Sleep duration, activity time or step counts were the most commonly reported WAM metrics. A preferred, clinically validated WAM metric was not identified. Conclusions: WAMs have an increasing presence in the orthopaedic trauma literature. The optimal implementation of this technology and its use to understand patients' pre-injury and post-injury functions is currently insufficiently explored and represents an area that will benefit from future study. Systematic review registration number: PROSPERO ID:210344.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1112-1122
Number of pages11
JournalIndian Journal of Orthopaedics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2022


  • Activity measurements
  • Orthopaedic trauma
  • Outcome measurements
  • Sensors
  • Wearable devices


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