February 11, 2015
Smartphone apps just as accurate as wearable devices
A new study has highlighted just how good apps like dacadoo can be for encouraging you to hit your health and fitness goals.
According to research team from Perelman School of Medicine and the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, most smartphone apps are just as accurate as wearable devices when it comes to tracking your physical activity.
The study looked at the ten best-selling smartphone apps and devices and had 14 participants take part to test them. All of them were asked to walk on a treadmill for 500 and 1,500 steps, each twice, while the researchers clocked their step count.
It acts as a follow-up to and a recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), suggesting that there limited evidence that just using wearable devices by themselves can improve health or change behaviour for people in the highest need of it.
Lead author of the study Meredith Case, a medical student at the University, said they wanted to address one of the challenges with using wearable devices: they must be accurate.
“After all, if a device is going to be effective at monitoring — and potentially changing — behaviour, individuals have to be able to trust the data,” she said. “We found that smartphone apps are just as accurate as wearable devices for tracking physical activity.”
The study highlights how dacadoo can make it simple and affordable to increase your Health Score and improve your general wellbeing. By downloading the app, you can access the forum and make the most of the social support, but also accurately track your physical activity. This will enable you to make better choices and change your behaviour to make positive long-term health choices.
“Since step counts are such an important part of how these devices and apps measure physical activity, including calculating distance or calories burned, their accuracy is key,” said senior author Dr Mitesh Patel, assistant professor of Medicine and Health Care Management at Penn and an attending physician at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center.
He added that, with the high uptake of smartphones, they could be a more “widely accessible and affordable way of tracking health behaviours”.