Heart-rate wearables data may be less accurate for people with darker skin

Heart-rate wearables data may be less accurate for people with darker skin

In a first-of-its-kind study, research to be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session found that wearable-device data on heart rate and rhythm may be less accurate for people with darker skin tones. "People need to be aware that there are some limitations for people with darker skin tones when using these devices, and the results should be taken with a grain of salt," said Dr. Daniel Koerber, the study's co-lead author and resident physician at the University of Alberta. Some research found that although there was no difference in heart rate accuracy, wearable devices recorded significantly fewer data points for people with darker skin. "Ongoing research and development of these devices should emphasize the inclusion of populations of all skin tones so that the developed algorithms can best accommodate for variations in innate skin light absorption," said Koerber.




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