Smartphones are as Capable as Wearables to Monitor Our Health

A new study reveals that wearables tend to show more accurate data than our phones

Are smartwatch the best devices for those who want to have an exact knowledge of their physical condition? The instinctive response to this question would lead us to say yes, however, a recent study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania has shown that this is not true in most cases. In fact, the data show that the results it gives us a wearable generally do not tend to be better than we can also get our smartphone.

“In this study we want to try one of the challenges of using wearables devices: must be accurate. After all, if a device is to be effective and potentially monitorizándonos our behavior-changing, individuals must be able to believe in these data.” After this introduction, the study results have revealed that many fitness apps for smartphones can offer exactly the same data as wearable.

To conduct the experiment, the researchers recruited 14 participants and used 6 different wearables: a pedometer Digi-Walker SW-200, the Fitbit Zip, the Fitbit Flex, the UP24 Jawbone and Nike Fuelband. On the other hand, each participant also had an iPhone 5s in your pocket with the following applications: Fitbit, Withings Health Mate and ProteGeo Oy’s Moves. Also he used a Samsung Galaxy S4 to test both platforms.

Each participant walked at an average speed of 3 mph and performed steps 500-1500. The data obtained by smartphone apps were approximately 6% difference compared to the total steps taken, while wearables had a range that varied from 1.5% to 22.7% the vaguer.

Some wearables devices more inaccurate data submitted applications for smartphone

Of course, in this study only they have taken into account those physical activities that can be quantified from both a smartphone and from a wearable. However,aspects that need constant contact with the human body such as heart rate, body temperature, blood glucose, among others, are what really justifies the purchase of one of these devices.

Apple already offers the possibility that our iPhone can quantify the number of steps we take a day, the number of stairs climbed and other data from our daily activity thanks to the co-processor M7 and M8. It remains to be seen what direction wearables advance in the field of health in the future, although surely bet for those most relevant biological data.