UBC Faculty Research and Publications

On the Reliability of Wearable Technology : A Tutorial on Measuring Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability in the Wild Dudarev, Veronica; Barral, Oswald; Zhang, Chuxuan; Davis, Guy; Enns, James


Wearable sensors are quickly making their way into psychophysiological research, as they allow collecting data outside of a laboratory and for an extended period of time. The present tutorial considers fidelity of physiological measurement with wearable sensors, focusing on reliability. We elaborate on why ensuring reliability for wearables is important and offer statistical tools for assessing wearable reliability for between participants and within-participant designs. The framework offered here is illustrated using several brands of commercially available heart rate sensors. Measurement reliability varied across sensors and, more importantly, across the situations tested, and was highest during sleep. Our hope is that by systematically quantifying measurement reliability, researchers will be able to make informed choices about specific wearable devices and measurement procedures that meet their research goals.

Item Citations and Data


CC BY 4.0