Wearable monitoring technology that tracks a persons movement, heartbeat, and bodily functions has become popular across society because it gives us a window into our bodies and to watch the fluctuations in our health. While any person may be interested in their heart rate and whether they have gotten enough steps into their daily step count, for people with late-onset Pompe disease, the benefits go beyond casual interest in the rhythms of ones health. As originally reported in Pompe Disease News, a new study has shown that for people with late-onset Pompe disease, this wearable technology can help them understand the status of their disease and create plans for mobility patterns.
What is Pompe Disease?
Pompe disease is a progressive genetic condition that causes the body to produce too much glycogen, a sugar on the celluar level. The disease affects the bodies ability to process this excess glycogen, causing it to build up and accumulate toxic molecules. This build up affects the functioning of any given part of the body: organs, tissues, or muscles. This causes the body to weaken and to have difficulty with physical activity such as walking, sports, climbing, or standing up. The disease can be fatal.
The disease is progressive, meaning that over time, it worsens. For patients with this disease, this means the difficulty with movement worsens till they eventually lose more of their mobility and must use wheelchairs or walking aids. This makes wearable technology particularly useful for tracking the progression of disease over time and comparing their movement with the general population.
Wearable Technology And Pompe Disease
The study found that people with Pompe disease tend to be less mobile than the general population, averaging less steps. They also compared people with Pompe disease with different progressions of the illness, different ages, rates of pain and fatigue, and durations. They found significant variation in mobility by any of these criteria, with higher rates of mobility in those who are younger, had less developed disease, less pain and fatigue, or who were diagnosed early.
They expect this wearable technology to help monitor the progression of disease to show the patient’s current status. With the extra information provided by the technology, there is more insight into the particular manifestation of the disease in the individual, and the disease in general.
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