A Washington Post Article covers a growing consumer battle with wearables companies. What happens when the marketing doesn’t mesh with the performance (compared to an EKG)?
More Pressure to Differentiate
With the proliferation of heart rate monitors in the market comes greater competition and greater pressure on manufacturers to differentiate. Some makers who’ve been using accuracy as the means to do it, may come to regret it sooner than later.
Technology has changed but the Gold Standard has not
If there is a battle of opinion technology approach, there is total agreement in the gold standard for measuring heart rate. The EKG is the bechmark for accuracy. It’s that very benchmark that some consumers are using as leverage against wearables manufacturers.
Mio Alpha 2
Samsung Gear S2
Her results appeared to match what dozens of other customers had found out for themselves: Fitbit’s reports on her heart rate were off, in some cases, by up to 30 heartbeats per minute. Washington Post
Cleveland Clinic and Peer Reviewed Studies
While the Stanford study was overwhelmingly positive, there are plenty of other studies that contradict it. A Cleveland clinic study published in Science Daily put 5 popular wrist-worn fitness trackers to a heart-rate test at varying intensity levels. The Levels of Agreement (how it compared to an EKG) varied from .67-.92 against control. An independent biomed study published earlier this year concluded
criterion measure were wide (+16.8 to -28.5 bpm) indicating that an individual heart rate measure could plausibly be underestimated by almost 30 bpm.