How Accurate are Smart Watches?
Wearable devices have as much as 20% error when measuring heart rate, and caloric expenditure measurements can be off by as much as 100%. Most wearable fitness devices overestimate total sleep time and underestimate wakefulness after sleep onset.
SMART WATCH ACCURACY KEY TAKEAWAYS
- Dr. Cathy Goldstein discusses the truth behind sleep tracking data and its relevance to health behaviors.
- The most reliable metrics from sleep tracking devices are total sleep time, time spent awake, and sleep timing.
- Sleep stages, as reported by many devices, may not be as accurate or relevant as many believe.
- Sleep tracking can help identify major changes in sleep patterns, such as those caused by COVID-19 or vaccines.
- Long-term health behavior change requires more than just sleep tracking; a holistic behavior design model is necessary.
In this episode of The BluePrint, we delve into the fascinating world of sleep tracking with Dr. Cathy Goldstein, a renowned neurologist and sleep expert. Dr. Goldstein, a Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center, shares her insights on the truth behind sleep data and how to interpret it for optimal health and performance.
Join us as we discuss the relevance of total sleep time, the importance of sleep consistency, and the potential pitfalls of focusing too much on sleep stages. Dr. Goldstein also sheds light on the impact of COVID-19 on sleep patterns and the role of sleep in managing chronic conditions.
In this episode, you'll discover:
- The key health behaviors to pay attention to when tracking sleep.
- The truth about sleep stages and their relevance to your health.
- The impact of COVID-19 and vaccines on sleep patterns.
- The role of sleep in managing chronic conditions like infertility, multiple sclerosis, and GI disease.
- The potential of AI in improving sleep tracking accuracy.
- "These devices are pretty good at determining if you're awake or asleep and you can really use them to benchmark your consistency and improve upon that." - Dr. Cathy Goldstein
- "We're taking EEG defined sleep and try to estimate it based on heart rate and motion. We are literally talking about completely different physiological characteristics." - Dr. Cathy Goldstein
- "We have something really valuable that we're tracking here. We're tracking the autonomic functions of sleep." - Dr. Cathy Goldstein
- "It's very easy to get somebody to wear this device every night to sleep and to have them review all their data, but it's really difficult to get somebody to turn off their backlit screens and set a regular wake time, which are the things that we know would actually help." - Dr. Cathy Goldstein
Korem, Erik. “Accuracy of Consumer Wearable Technology” AIM7.com, March 8, 2023, https://aim7.com/post/accuracy-of-consumer-wearable-technology