Heart rate Monitors have become an integral part of many wearable offerings that focus on fitness and health. Heart rate monitors are increasingly becoming more popular. According to a recent study, 13% steady growth is expected in demand for products with heart rate monitoring between 2016 and 2020.
Unfortunately, since these devices have not gone through stringent FDA testing requirements, the measurements that you find in some of the products can be far from the reality. Recently there was some controversy surrounding the inaccuracy of fitbit products. This makes it harder for consumers to know what they are paying for.
Apple has been at the forefront with its Apple Watch Product when it comes to heart rate monitoring for fitness and health applications. Other products that play in this same space are from Fitbit, Mio Alpha and Basis Peak.
In a recent study published in JAMA Cardiology, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic tested the accuracy of heart rate monitoring in several popular wearables including Apple Watch Heart Rate Monitors.
In this study, researchers asked health subjects to wear these devices and get on a treadmill. They collected heart rate based on an EKG and based on these devices at different stages of exercise. They then looked at the correlation of the heart rate on the wearables with the EKG-measured heart rate as well as patterns of deviation.
The results found that the Apple Watch Heart Rate Monitors and Mio Fuse had the most accurate heart rate tracking, demonstrating the best concordance with EKG-measured heart rate (0.91 for both).
Interesting, there was no overlap in the 95% confidence intervals for these devices vs. the Fitbit and Basis devices, which concordance coefficients of 0.84 and 0.83 respectively.
Again, Fitbit and Basis fell short compared to Apple Watch Heart Rate Monitors and Mio Fuse; the former had a wider spread on heart rates, particularly in the mid-range (100 – 160 bpm), than the latter.
This goes on to show that Apple makes products that are dependable compared to its competitors. If you have not yet ordered your Apple Watch Series 2 yet, feel free to take a peak at Apple’s site and learn more about this novel product’s offerings. This will be a good product to target for your Christmas shopping list!