28 Alb. L.J. Sci. & Tech. 39 (2017-2018)
Beyond Fitbit: A Critical Appraisal of Optical Heart Rate Monitoring Wearables and Apps, Their Current Limitations and Legal Implications

handle is hein.journals/albnyst28 and id is 45 raw text is: 


                      Michael  Lang'*

  Fitness and health-care-oriented wearables and apps have been
around for a couple of years and are still gaining momentum. Over
time, they have begun  to harness considerable computational
power  and  to incorporate increasingly sophisticated sensors,
eventually resulting in a blurring of the lines between consumer
electronics and  medical devices. While  their benefits and
potentials are  undisputed, the  overly optimistic appraisal
commonly   encountered  in both  mass  media  and  academic
literature does not adequately reflect unsolved problems and
inherent limitations of these devices. This Article will argue that
while these issues have long been  known  to the engineering
community, their relevance and legal implications appear to have
been grossly underestimated. January 2016  marked  a turning
point, as news of two class-action lawsuits filed against major
manufacturer  Fitbit brought widespread attention to accuracy,
reliability, and safety concerns regarding these devices. This
Article will provide a concise overview of optical heart rate
monitoring technology, the current state of the art, and research
trends. It will be argued that under real-world scenarios these
apps  and  devices are  currently inherently inaccurate and
unreliable, with even greater problems on the horizon as the

   1 M.Sc. Electrical Engineering, Technische Universitit (TU) Darmstadt,
Germany, currently pursuing a Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering at TU
Darmstadt. The work of M. Lang was supported by the Excellence Initiative of
the German Federal and State Governments and the Graduate School of
Excellence Computational Engineering at TU Darmstadt. The views expressed
in this Article are solely those of the Author in his private capacity and do not
necessarily reflect the views of TU Darmstadt or any other organization. Please
direct any comments and questions to michael.lang@ieee.org.


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