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Table 1 Accuracy problems in studies using physiological measurements by smartphone apps

From: Smartphones in mental health: a critical review of background issues, current status and future concerns

MeasureAppSmartphoneParticipantsFindingStudy
Blood pressureInstant Blood PressureiPhone 5 and 6.85 patients and staff; 53% with hypertension.Measures “were highly inaccurate”Plante et al. (2016)
Heart rateInstant Heart Rate
Heart Fitness
Whats My Heart Rate
Cardio Version
iPhone 4 and 5.108 patients, exluding those in critical condition.“substantial performance differences” between the four appsCoppetti et al. (2017)
Heart rate
Blood pressure
Oxygen saturation
Instant Blood Pressure
Instant Blood Pressure Pro
Pulse Oximeter
Pulse oximeter Pro
iPhone 5S100 healthy participants“applications evaluated do not provide clinically meaningful data” “inaccurate data.. can potentially contribute to patient harm”Alexander et al. (2017)
Heart rateRuntastic Heart Rate Monitor
Instant heart rate+
iPhone15 regularly active college students“Poor correlation to ECG” during moderate to high intensity exerciseBouts et al. (2018)
Step countingArgus: calorie counter and stepAndroid phones: Samsung, OnePlus, Moto, Oppo, Galazy, Huawei, LG, Google, Sony and Agora running Android
4.4 to 8.1
Apple: iPhone 6, 6S, 7, 8, running iOS10.3–11.4.
48 healthy participants“extraordinarily large error ranges for both..phones”
“appear unsuitable to detect steps in short, slow, or non-stereotypical gait patterns”
Brodie et al. (2018)
SleepSleep timeiPhone 4 s and 520 participants with no sleep disorder“absolute parameters and sleep staging…. correlate poorly with polysomnography”Bhat et al. (2015)
SleepMotionX 24/7iPhone 478 children and adolescents with suspected sleep disordered breathing“did not accurately reflect sleep or wake and should be used with caution”Toon et al. (2016)