Comparing Wearables for Data Accuracy

by Shahid Ashraf

There are numerous fitness trackers or activity tracker devices and mobile device applications. It is a mind-bogglingly difficult prospect to decide which one to use. It’s not just about Fitbit and Jawbone anymore. Now everyone wants a piece of the action. The right activity tracker for you will be based on your individual needs; whether that’s accurate step counting, reliable sleep tracking or 24/7 heart rate tracking. There’s definitely something for everyone out there.

In this blog, I am trying to get an idea on some of these wearables and applications and inferring the differences, particularly regarding steps, distance and calories.  I looked at wearables like Xiaomi Mi Fit (cheapest of all) , Fitbit Flex, Misfit Flash and applications like Runkeeper, Strava, Mapmyfitness, MovesAp, Sonly life log and Goole Fit.

At Applied, we have developed easy to integrate REST API for Developers, which helps in getting data from different healthcare devices and applications.

 

The Chart below shows the downloads and rating of these applications on Play store and iTunes.

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 5.53.07 PM

 

* Note Downloads are in Millions.

The comparison of these apps were done based on small activities as well as wearing them for a day. First we got to compare Xiaomi Mi Fit and misfit Flash by wearing them on the same wrist and compared sleep differences. We found that misfit showed total sleep as 7h 52m and Mi fit showed the same as 7h 33m, indicating that I slept 20 minutes more.

Also, with regard to routine steps taken in one full day, MiFit captured 5823 steps while Misfit Flash showed 5192 steps.

We also compared Fitbit Flex and Mi Fit for daily routine step count and we found fFitbit flex captured 6962 steps while Mi Fit did 6655 steps!

Next, what we cross compared wearable and mobile Application like Runkeeper. For this, we started with a small activity of 12 minutes.

In this activity, Runkeeper showed total distance as 0.64 km , Mis Fit 0.8 km (1206 steps) and MiFit 0.668 km (1034 steps). In this activity both misfit and misfit flash were worn on the same wrist and mobile device (red note 3) was held in the same hand.

In another activity, we compared two applications MapMyFitness and Runkeeper. Both of these use GPS for calculating the distance. Both the devices were tied together and put in the same pocket. The activity duration was 16 minutes. The distance showed by MapMyFitness was 0.29 km while Runkeeper showed 0.3057754 km.

As you can see, how data coming from the different wearables and fitness applications differ. Stay tuned as I will be comparing more fitness applications. You can also check out http://gethealth.io.

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