Heart monitoring by Fitbit, other wearables, may be less accurate for people with dark skin

inspire hr feed uhgh full width inline

Nearly all of the largest manufacturers of wearable heart rate trackers rely on technology that could be less reliable for consumers who have darker skin, according to researchers, engineers, and other experts who spoke with STAT.

The potential inaccuracies have broad implications for the growing body of scientific research that relies on these wearables — as well as for the increasing number of people whose employers offer financial incentives or other benefits for using Fitbits and other trackers.

Concerns about the devices also come amid a broader reckoning over whether new technologies are as objective as they appear — and whether implicit prejudices are shaping their development.

Researchers and scientists who spoke with STAT were careful to point out that there isn’t clear research that shows exactly how accurate consumer heart rate trackers are for people with darker skin — the issue has hardly been studied, in part because the technology changes so fast. But they also emphasized that the effect of melanin on green light absorption is well-documented — and that without more research or more public information from the manufacturers about accuracy, it is equally hard to prove there isn’t an impact.

Read full, original post: Fitbits and other wearables may not accurately track heart rates in people of color

Related article:  CRISPR patent dispute is back in court. What should we expect?
Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend