Accuracy of Wrist-Worn Heart Rate Monitors | Cardiology | JAMA Cardiology | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
January 2017

Accuracy of Wrist-Worn Heart Rate Monitors

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
JAMA Cardiol. 2017;2(1):104-106. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.3340

Wrist-worn fitness and heart rate (HR) monitors are popular.1,2 While the accuracy of chest strap, electrode-based HR monitors has been confirmed,3,4 the accuracy of wrist-worn, optically based HR monitors is uncertain.5,6 Assessment of the monitors’ accuracy is important for individuals who use them to guide their physical activity and for physicians to whom these individuals report HR readings. The objective of this study was to assess the accuracy of 4 popular wrist-worn HR monitors under conditions of varying physical exertion.

This study recruited 50 healthy adults. The mean (SD) age was 37 (11.3) years; the mean (SD) body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) was 23.5 (3.1); 28 participants were women (58%), and 7 participants were African American (14%). Exclusion criteria included cardiovascular disease, pacemakers, and treatment with heart rhythm medications. The protocol was approved by the Cleveland Clinic institutional review board. Participants provided written informed consent.