University of Oulu

Kuosmanen, E., Visuri, A., Risto, R., & Hosio, S. (2022). Comparing consumer grade sleep trackers for research purposes: A field study. Frontiers in Computer Science, 4, 971793.

Comparing consumer grade sleep trackers for research purposes : a field study

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Author: Kuosmanen, Elina1; Visuri, Aku1; Risto, Roosa1;
Organizations: 1Center for Ubiquitous Computing, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-03-07


Sleep tracking has been rapidly developing alongside wearable technologies and digital trackers are increasingly being used in research, replacing diaries and other more laborious methods. In this work, we describe the user expectations and experiences of four different sleep tracking devices used simultaneously during week-long field deployment. The sensor-based data collection was supplemented with qualitative data from a 2-week long daily questionnaire period which overlapped with device usage for a period of 1 week. We compare the sleep data on each of the tracking nights between all four devices, and showcase that while each device has been validated with the polysomnography (PSG) gold standard, the devices show highly varying results in everyday use. Differences between devices for measuring sleep duration or sleep stages on a single night can be up to an average of 1 h 36 min. Study participants provided their expectations and experiences with the devices, and provided qualitative insights into their usage throughout the daily questionnaires. The participants assessed each device according to ease of use, functionality and reliability, and comfortability and effect on sleep disturbances. We conclude the work with lessons learned and recommendations for researchers who wish to conduct field studies using digital sleep trackers, and how to mitigate potential challenges and problems that might arise regarding data validity and technical issues.

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Series: Frontiers in computer science
ISSN: 2624-9898
ISSN-E: 2624-9898
ISSN-L: 2624-9898
Volume: 4
Article number: 971793
DOI: 10.3389/fcomp.2022.971793
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This work was funded by the Academy of Finland (project numbers 318930, 335729, and 349637), and with the support of Biocenter Oulu, spearhead project ICON.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 335729
Detailed Information: 335729 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
349637 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Dataset Reference: The raw data supporting the conclusions of this article will be made available by the authors, without undue reservation.
Copyright information: © 2022 Kuosmanen, Visuri, Risto and Hosio. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.