Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

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ProfessorEd
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Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by ProfessorEd » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:28 pm

Some probably saw the Wall Street Journal article (today, Mossberg) on the new Fitbit, a motion detecting device that monitors your movements and estimates how much you are moving and how many calories being burned. It apparently also can be worn at might to monitor sleep (estimating how much you sleep by how much you move). There are several similar devices out there such as Bodybugg, Gowear, and Sensewear (all by the same firm). Google searches will show more on any of these devices.

I have periodic limb movements and was wondering if any of these were useful in monitoring that (presumably if attached to your leg it could show how much you were moving). Of course, these are not sold as medical devices and I am aware of no tests.

Have any of you had any experiences with any of these. If they showed more movements on nights when you felt worse the next day, it could be a sign your PLM were worse and you might see the doctor to change your drug prescription and/or have your ferritin checked.

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kteague
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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by kteague » Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:38 am

I'll be watching this thread because I too am interested in hearing if anyone has any experience with these devices. I have read about home use medical devices for detecting PLMD movements but if I remember correctly they were very expensive and for single use. There's also something called KickStrip, but I know nothing about it. I will soon be revisiting my sleep doc as the Ropinerole is up to 4mg and still not working well. Since my cpap therapy is fine, I sure would like some way to monitor my limb movements without a sleep study.

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katcw
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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by katcw » Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:44 am

If you have periodic RLS, you might want to research adding a magnesium supplement. I'm no medical or health expert, but have read several articles that indicate magnesium can help counter RLS.

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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by kteague » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:40 am

katcw - I read some about it too, have been taking a calcium, zinc, and magnesium supplement. Not sure if it's effectiveness is better in RLS or PLMD, but I figure it could only help. I broke down and started taking them more due to extreme leg cramps, and it sure did help those!

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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by ProfessorEd » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:08 pm

Update.

I placed a reservation for this device when it was announced and have had the E-mail saying to confirm my order so they can ship. I am inclined to go ahead (costing $99 for device and another $10 for shipping, etc.) They have changed the interior color to blue I noticed.

I thought I would update this posting and ask if anyone had any new knowledge regarding this device or alternatives.

There is now a Wikipedia entry and I have learned there is a 3D accelerometer as the heart of the device, and from a web search that the delay in shipping is due to a firmware problem that required every device to be opened and updated
(most product introductions are managed so that when you read review you can immediately purchase the item).

A long and informative review is at http://www.timeatlas.com/reviews/review ... _direction emphasizing the general exercise tracking rather than my particular goal of monitoring periodic leg movements.
Last edited by ProfessorEd on Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cflame1
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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by cflame1 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:14 pm

I bought myself one of these at Best Buy... a fitness thing in my case. Cost me $99... and no shipping.

It sure does say that I'm active at night.

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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by SleepingUgly » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:47 pm

How is this different than an Actigraph? Wouldn't it be subject to the same issues?

http://books.google.com/books?id=8Igfu_ ... hy&f=false
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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by kteague » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:48 pm

What's the name of the one at Best Buy?

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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by ProfessorEd » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:02 pm

cflame1 wrote:I bought myself one of these at Best Buy... a fitness thing in my case. Cost me $99... and no shipping.

It sure does say that I'm active at night.
Thanks for the Bestbuy idea.

If you search on Bing cashback for Fitbit it takes you to Bestbuy and states you get 5% Bing cashback. In general you can order on line and pick up at Bestbuy, saving shipping.

However, at the Bestbuy site it is described as coming soon (and priced at $99.99, I corrected my earlier post where an intended $ became a 4). I will wait and buy through Bestbuy, assuming they will have it in stock soon (especially since the quote shows at least one store already has it). Having a Bestbuy gift card to use make it even better. The slight delay in receipt from waiting, may be offset by getting further information from a actual user such as cflame.

Meanwhile, any further feedback from cflame or anyone else would be appreciated.

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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by cflame1 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:35 pm

I know nothing about an actigraph...

What I bought was a fitbit.

When I tell it what hours I supposedly was sleeping... it tells me how many hours I actually slept. Which when I've had a lousy night (wake up tired)... it makes sense.

It keeps track of my steps as well.

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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by SleepingUgly » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:08 pm

I'm not saying it CANNOT, only that I don't know how it can tell the difference between when you're awake (e.g., due to arousals) vs. when you're having limb movements. I googled but can't find any research about fitbit and PLMs. Maybe it's out there, but I couldn't find it.

Actigraphy is not very helpful in people whose sleep is fragmented, at least per the one study I read. It can tell if someone is awake for long periods of time, but not short periods as in transient arousals.
cflame1 wrote:I know nothing about an actigraph...

What I bought was a fitbit.

When I tell it what hours I supposedly was sleeping... it tells me how many hours I actually slept. Which when I've had a lousy night (wake up tired)... it makes sense.

It keeps track of my steps as well.
Never put your fate entirely in the hands of someone who cares less about it than you do. --Sleeping Ugly

ProfessorEd
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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by ProfessorEd » Wed May 19, 2010 12:14 pm

Has anyone had any more recent experience with Fitbit? I owuld hope there would be ore experience by now.

I had intended to buy one and even placed a pre-introduction order. I did not go ahead with this order because someone posted Bestbuy (which I had a gift card for)carried them and a Bing search directed you to Bestbuy and offered 5% off. However, it never made it to availability at Bestbuy, although their web site shows it is coming some day at the $99 price. The FITbit company site shows it as available at $99, but says it is still filling back orders with a June 15 delivery date.

sdfgarcia
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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by sdfgarcia » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:11 pm

I had a fitbit and found it worked quite well. It matched pretty closely with my sleep reports from my cpap machine. Unfortunately, the unit is not puppy proof, and mine got chewed up. I placed an order for a replacement model on August 11, and it just shipped. TODAY. These are great units, but plan to wait awhile as the FitBit company will sell multiple units per order, and the orders are filled in the order they are received. They seem to have production challenges to begin with, and having to wait while orders for resale are being filled is excessive, in my opinion.

Having said that, the unit works beautifully for tracking activity and steps, and I found it to be extremely accurate. I walk a set course every morning, and in terms of measuring the distance traveled, it was right on the money. It also showed a higher activity level when going upstairs vs. walking the hallway.

Worth the money? Yes. Worth the wait? No. I highly recommend biting the bullet and buying a new unit of eBay, even if it costs you more.

I know this is a late post, but I hope it will help someone else considering buying a unit.

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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by ichitumi » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:19 pm

They sell the Fitbit at 24 Hour Fitness, if anyone's interested. $99 as well.

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Re: Periodic limb movement monitoring via Fitbit

Post by linagee » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:14 am

ProfessorEd wrote:Some probably saw the Wall Street Journal article (today, Mossberg) on the new Fitbit, a motion detecting device that monitors your movements and estimates how much you are moving and how many calories being burned. It apparently also can be worn at might to monitor sleep (estimating how much you sleep by how much you move). There are several similar devices out there such as Bodybugg, Gowear, and Sensewear (all by the same firm). Google searches will show more on any of these devices.

I have periodic limb movements and was wondering if any of these were useful in monitoring that (presumably if attached to your leg it could show how much you were moving). Of course, these are not sold as medical devices and I am aware of no tests.

Have any of you had any experiences with any of these. If they showed more movements on nights when you felt worse the next day, it could be a sign your PLM were worse and you might see the doctor to change your drug prescription and/or have your ferritin checked.
The best thing a consumer can buy that will monitor RLS/PLMD is a Zeo. There are three electrodes in the headband that have powerful signal amplifiers. If you were to hook test leads to the three button strap connections (you may also need an inline resistor, muscle spasms are more mV than brain waves) then you could strap the whole thing to a leg. There is an existing project out there that lets you hook an FTDI FT232R usb->serial cable up to the hidden port on the back of the Zeo. You have to also install a custom firmware to output raw data. (on Zeo's forums to support the hardware hacking community) There is an existing Python application that will let you monitor the waves themselves coming out of the Zeo. (Letting you use it as a wireless signal amplifier instead of to detect sleep stages/etc.) It's not that good of a Python application, but it should be good enough to dump data out to import into your favorite data analysis tool. (I have come to like EDFbrowser.)

The above device is best because you can measure muscles directly. If however you only want to measure the movements of your legs, you can use the second best option. Use a Wiimote. I've already written a simple program (in Python) that reads the Wiimotes accelerometers and dumps their values to a text file. Then I can do an ASCII->EDF conversion in EDFbrowser. If you strapped the Wiimote onto your leg (ace bandage?) this should work great. This is probably the easiest way to monitor RLS because it only uses a $40 Wiimote and a bluetooth adapter! Batteries last at least 3-4 nights constantly sending out accelerometer values. The more interest people show in this, the more I will post.