Penn Study Details Accuracy of 10 Wearable Pedometer Brands

Penn Study Details Accuracy of 10 Wearable Pedometer Brands

Data Shows a Variation in Accuracy by as Much as 23%

A new study of the accuracy of 10 different brands of digital, wearable pedometers co-authored by Mitesh Patel, Kevin Volpp and Penn medical student Meredith Case has generated an international flurry of publicity.

The wearable device study was conducted by having 14 people walk 500 and 1500 steps on a treadmill and then comparing the results on each
Mitesh Patel
Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA

device. The data showed a variation in device accuracy by as much as 23%.

Accuracy's importance
In media interviews, Patel emphasized that beyond the mere measuring of the number of steps one takes, the pedometer counts are important because they drive the devices' other biometric results, including distances or the number of calories burned.

Within 24 hours of its release, the study had become the subject of major articles in the U.S. and abroad, including The New York Times, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, Time, Mother Jones magazine, Reuters, Cellular News, Britain's The Gardian, The Business Insider Australia, The Huffington Post India, and The Daily Times of Pakistan.

Patel, MD, MBA, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, an Affiliated Faculty member at the LDI Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), and an LDI Senior Fellow. Volpp, MD, PhD, is Director of CHIBE and a professor of both medicine at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine and health care management at the Wharton School.