Smart Wearables for Monitoring of Health-Related Behavioral Variables

Improving Health Habits and Life Quality

Project Justification

Wearables such as smartwatches and smartbands are used by a lot of people to track their health status. Information on one’s own health behavior including exercise and sleep activities can shift awareness to this topic and consequently lead to a healthier and more mindful lifestyle.

Acceleration data collection in use case 3: Alternate running and walking in 2-minute periods 

Our Approach

The aim of this study was to evaluate two smartwatches regarding their ability to track heart rate (HR), step count, and sleep stages. The experimental procedure consisted of several use cases to measure HR accuracy in different cardio zones. Therefore, the participants were asked to walk and run on a treadmill. For the assessment of sleep, they were invited in a sleep laboratory. In both lab settings, data from the smartwatches were compared to scientific lab data. Additionally, user experience was assessed in a focus group through an explorative interview and guided group discussion. In order to assess possible ergonomic constrains several validated questionnaires were administrated after a habituation period.

Evaluated smartband

Insights and Outcomes

There was a high correlation between the smart watch and laboratory measurements for heart rate and step count and a fairly accurate detection of sleep markers. User experience assessed in the focus group resulted in useful insights regarding information provision, operation, and charging of smart wearables. The accompanying software of the evaluated smartwatch was constantly rated very positive on user experience dimensions.

Experimental procedure included several typical use cases to measure accuracy of step counting algorithm. Use cases involved (a) alternate running and walking on a treadmill, (b) walking with suitcase, (c) walking with smartphone while texting and (d) rest detection during typical office tasks.

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