The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of the combined use of smartphone and smartband technology for 3-months alongside brief lifestyle counselling, versus counselling alone, in increasing physical activity. As secondary objectives, the effects of the intervention on dietary habits, body composition, quality of life, level of functionality and cognitive performance were assessed.
This study employed a randomized clinical trial of two-parallel groups design – control group (CG) and intervention group (IG). The study was conducted in 3 Spanish health-centres between October 2018-February 2020. Eligible participants were people of both sexes and aged between 65–80 years attending the health-centres with a score ≥ 24 points on the Mini-Mental State Examination. Key variables included physical activity, dietary pattern, body composition, cognitive performance, level of functionality and quality of life. All variables were measured at baseline and after 3-months. Both groups received a brief nutritional and physical activity advice. Intervention group participants were instructed to use a smartphone application for a period of 3-months. This application integrates information on physical activity received from a fitness bracelet and self-reported information on the patient’s daily nutritional composition.
The study population comprised 160 participants (IG = 81, CG = 79), with a mean age of 70.8 ± 4.0 years (61.3% women). No difference was found in the primary and secondary outcomes analyzed (physical activity (steps/min -0.4 (-1.0 to 0.2) p = 0.174), and dietary habits (Mediterranean diet score 0.0 (-0.6 to 0.6) p = 0.956) that could be attributed to either group after an ANCOVA test. A difference attributable to the intervention was observed in the total Clock test score (0.7 (0.1 to 1.2) p = 0.018.
In a sample of people over 65 years of age, the combined use of the EVIDENT 3 smartphone app and an activity tracking bracelet for 3-months did not result in lifestyles changes related to the amount and level of physical activity or the eating habits, compared to brief lifestyle advice. Other clinical parameters were not changed either, although at the cognitive level, a slight improvement was observed in the score on the Clock test assessing a variety of cognitive functions such as memory.