How Accurate is the Data from Wearable Technologies?

How Accurate is the Data from Wearable Technologies?

As wearable technology is getting more popular, it is also adding on more features for health monitoring and improving smart functions. It’s like carrying a portable health monitor with you wherever you go. With the pandemic moving along its second year across the globe, remote services are advancing faster and gaining in popularity. Telehealth is no different. Where once the technology was mostly ignored as impossible, it is now rapidly being taken up as the best possible safe option in routine healthcare. The tech and health industries are working harder to improve the technology and now its advantages are more prominent than ever.

So, how accurate are these gadgets anyway? Can they collect data with minimum error and aid in professional healthcare? We have rounded up experts to answer these questions.

FDA Approvals for Wearable Technologies

“Back in the day when apple introduced health as a key part of its iPhone offering, there has been great research done in the field of wearables. In the last few years alone, There have been 10+ FDA approvals for wearable technologies for medical purposes. This gives us insight into how wearable technology has been advancing leaps and bounds to satisfy some of the most stringent protocols to be classified as scheduled medical devices. There have also been great advancements in the field of low-risk wearables which enable users to monitor heart rate for example. They create a general sense of wellbeing even though they may not be as accurate as a health care professional taking your vitals.”

AmolLondhe, software architect, ZEBOC Care Anywhere

Convenient and Efficient, yet not Precise

“As an ex-IT expert, I pay attention to the technology market because many of my ideas are heavily influenced by what’s happening in technology, and I also invest in new technologies. I think early adopters of wearable technology, like the Apple Watch or Jawbone Up, are often health-conscious individuals who wish to track their data from a variety of sources. While these devices have proven promising for improving health statistics, there are certain improvements that must be made before they can be considered a reliable source. Their Purpose: Wearable technology companies highlight their products as the most convenient and efficient way to track health statistics. The consumer is able to link their sleep patterns, food intake, and physical activity all on one device. However, this ease also leads to some inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the data. For example, Apple Watch’s heart rate tracker

(which uses an Electrocardiogram) is still not as precise as other heart rate measuring technologies. Inconsistencies: While wearable device companies advertise themselves on social media outlets as being the more convenient and efficient way to track your health data, there are many inconsistencies for wearables that will never occur with traditional methods.” 

Abby Ha, Head of Marketing WellPCB

Wearable Gadgets are getting more Accurate Everyday

“With the advancement in technology, development of highly sensitive sensors, progress in software and AI, data from wearable gadgets have become quite accurate that is of great help to doctors and patients. However, there are still some differences among the accuracy of data depending upon the quality of wearable gadgets and companies producing them. Good world-class companies’ wearable wrist bands and digital BP apparatus produce high-quality data that can be used as an alternative to checking my medical equipment. Wearable technology is capable of collecting blood pressure, heart rate, ECG, EEG, EMG, and blood sugar. Insulin can also be injected according to blood sugar. Progress is still being made in this regard to make these wearable gadgets even better.”

Dr. Waqas Ahmad Buttar, Family Physician at Sachet Infusions

The Brand of Wearable Gadgets Matters in Accuracy

“Why wearable tech isn’t as accurate as you might think: Wearable technologies are advancing fast, and consumers should be up to date with the effectiveness and accuracy of any given device. As a technology expert myself, I am confident in saying that these devices are fairly accurate, but you may experience some discrepancies depending on the brand and model of the watch, shoe, glassware, or clothing. It’s amazing how many wearable items we have been able to make “smart,” but it’s important to note that using an Apple Watch may provide very different results than say a Samsung Galaxy Watch. This all depends on what you’re using the wearable technology for, but just tracking the number of steps you take in a day can be subjective. I say all this having worked with similar electronics for years and am learning more about wearable tech by the day.”

Heinrich Long, Privacy Expert at Restore Privacy

“The data accuracy from wearable technologies varies from brand to brand. It depends on a wide variety of factors like the sensors and what type of technologies these brands are using. Usually, the heart rate and step counting sensor used in many high-end brands show accurate results, but the constant up-gradation and tweaks in the design of the wearable devices suggest that more research is being done on these technologies to show more accurate results.”

Miranda Yan, Co-Founder of VinPit

Wearable gadgets for tracking health vitals are continuously on the road to improvement and customization. With each development, the accuracy is generally increasing. While the technology has not reached that level of accuracy yet, we could soon be witnessing wearable gadgets as a more integral part of professional healthcare.