Digital biomarker representing frailty phenotypes: The use of machine learning and sensor-based sit-to-stand test

Catherine Park, Ramkinker Mishra, Amir Sharafkhaneh, Mon S. Bryant, Christina Nguyen, Ilse Torres, Aanand D. Naik, Bijan Najafi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Since conventional screening tools for assessing frailty phenotypes are resource intensive and unsuitable for routine application, efforts are underway to simplify and shorten the frailty screening protocol by using sensor-based technologies. This study explores whether machine learning combined with frailty modeling could determine the least sensor-derived features required to identify physical frailty and three key frailty phenotypes (slowness, weakness, and exhaustion). Older participants (n = 102, age = 76.54 ± 7.72 years) were fitted with five wearable sensors and completed a five times sit-to-stand test. Seventeen sensor-derived features were extracted and used for optimal feature selection based on a machine learning technique combined with frailty modeling. Mean of hip angular velocity range (indicator of slowness), mean of vertical power range (indicator of weakness), and coefficient of variation of vertical power range (indicator of exhaustion) were selected as the optimal features. A frailty model with the three optimal features had an area under the curve of 85.20%, a sensitivity of 82.70%, and a specificity of 71.09%. This study suggests that the three sensor-derived features could be used as digital biomarkers of physical frailty and phenotypes of slowness, weakness, and exhaustion. Our findings could facilitate future design of low-cost sensor-based technologies for remote physical frailty assessments via telemedicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3258
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • Digital health
  • Frailty phenotype
  • Machine learning
  • Older adults
  • Physical frailty
  • Remote assessment
  • Sit-to-stand test
  • Telemedicine
  • Wearable technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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