Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A better way to track your every move: Algorithm accurately tracks physical activity no matter where you carry your phone

Date:
November 4, 2013
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Physical activity tracking apps on smartphones are a potentially important tool for doctors who want to collect data and create treatment or intervention plans to improve the health of patients who struggle with activity and movement -- such as those with Parkinson's disease.

Physical activity tracking apps on smart phones are a potentially important tool for doctors who want to collect data and create treatment or intervention plans to improve the health of patients who struggle with activity and movement -- such as those with Parkinson's disease.

Related Articles


A new Northwestern Medicineฎ study has found a way to make these apps more accurate -- no matter where patients carry their phones. The study was recently published online in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods.

Previous studies of activity tracker apps have found that patients generally carry their phone in a pocket, on a belt or in a purse or bag throughout the day and are not aware that where they carry their phone can impact how well the tracker works.

Designed with fashion and comfort in mind, a new algorithm -- developed by an interdisciplinary team at Northwestern -- can be used with a physical activity app to predict the location of a phone throughout the day with near perfect accuracy.

"While it remains true that smart phone activity trackers are the most accurate when the phone is placed in the pocket or on a belt, with this algorithm we can provide an estimate of error associated with other locations where the phone is carried," said Konrad Kording, principal investigator of the study.

Kording is an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and of physiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a research scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

This finding is important because studies have shown that in everyday life people carry their phones in different ways. It is unrealistic to expect all patients with activity tracker apps to always carry their phone in their pocket or on a belt, Kording said.

"Most women carry their phones in a purse," said Stephen Antos, first author of the study. "Some people carry theirs on their belt or in their hand. We may change where we carry our phone throughout the day as well. We wanted to solve this problem and find a way to make these trackers as accurate as possible no matter where you carry your phone."

Antos is a PhD candidate in the department of biomedical engineering at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and a research scientist in the Sensory Motor Performance Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

For the study, a team of interdisciplinary researchers from Feinberg's Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies recruited twelve healthy subjects to take on pre-arranged activities such as walking, sitting and standing while carrying a smart phone in different places (purse/backpack, belt, hand and pocket.) The same method was used on two people with Parkinson's disease.

The data was used to train a computer algorithm to predict where a phone is being carried and to detect second-by-second activity such as sitting, standing and walking.

This study is one of many taking place at Northwestern's Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies that uses smart phone apps to improve health. Kording believes that in the near future smart phones will have a major role in how we manage our health.

"I believe we will have apps running on smart phones that will know exactly what we're doing activity-wise and will warn us of diseases before we even know that we have those diseases," Kording said. "In the future, phones will have a major role in motivating people towards behavior that is good for their health."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. The original article was written by Erin White. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "A better way to track your every move: Algorithm accurately tracks physical activity no matter where you carry your phone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104152754.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2013, November 4). A better way to track your every move: Algorithm accurately tracks physical activity no matter where you carry your phone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104152754.htm
Northwestern University. "A better way to track your every move: Algorithm accurately tracks physical activity no matter where you carry your phone." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104152754.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) — A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) — Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IBM Taps Into Twitter's Data With New Partnership

IBM Taps Into Twitter's Data With New Partnership

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) — The new partnership will allow IBM to access Twitter’s data and analytics to help IBM clients better understand their consumers. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) — Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins