Fitness sensors and health systems are paving the way toward improving the quality of medical care by exploiting the benefits of new technology. For example, the great amount of patient-generated health data available today gives new opportunities to measure life parameters in real time and create a revolution in communication for professionals and patients. In this work, we concentrated on the basic parameter typically measured by fitness applications and devices—the number of steps taken daily. In particular, the main goal of this study was to compare the accuracy and precision of smartphone applications versus those of wearable devices to give users an idea about what can be expected regarding the relative difference in measurements achieved using different system typologies. In particular, the data obtained showed a difference of approximately 30%, proving that smartphone applications provide inaccurate measurements in long-term analysis, while wearable devices are precise and accurate. Accordingly, we challenge the reliability of previous studies reporting data collected with phone-based applications, and besides discussing the current limitations, we support the use of wearable devices for mHealth.
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