Fitness trackers have quickly become a fixture on the American wrist over the last two years, taking the lion's share of the wearable gadget gift market. Fitbit, the Apple Watch, and a dozen other such gizmos can track not only steps taken, but also blood pressure, heart rate, sleep quality, and more. Fitbit's, in particular, have become increasingly popular because they can help most keep track of their fitness goals and achievements, allowing you to reach those goals easier. When you know how many steps you take through the day and how you are sleeping at night, it becomes a bit easier to lose weight, for example.
• One out of six consumers own some type of wearable technology.
• Nearly half of all wearable tech users – 48 percent – are between 18 and 34. While more than two-thirds of 16-to-24-year-olds want wearable tech.
• More men are into the trend than women: 69 percent vs. 56 percent.
• On the financial side, analysts expect the market to grow by 35 percent by 2019.
These fitness trackers are now being used with increasing frequency to support or dispute information used in court cases, including personal injury lawsuits. In 2014, a Canadian judge used information gleaned from a Fitbit to assess the change in lifestyle of an accident victim. Information stored in the accident victim's Fitbit provided evidence that she'd become far less active than she had been before the accident. The data comparison shown:
• The victim took fewer steps per day than before the accident;
• The victim slept less soundly and for fewer hours;
• The victim's overall fitness had declined.
The judge in this case used the Fitbit data to assess the damage the accident inflicted. Experts then fed the data through a larger program called Vivametrica, which compared the plaintiff's information to that of the general population. The judge could then see that the plaintiff was functioning below the average for women in her age group. The fitness tracker offered a tool that provided facts that supported the victim's subjective perception that she had suffered, and the judge was able to evaluate her suffering and award compensation based on objective data.
This sort of information taken from a fitness tracker can potentially help you win a car accident court case if you are severely injured by a driver performing at less than normal for your average driver. As this case demonstrates, the use of fitness tracker technology may affect the outcome of certain personal injury cases depending on the circumstances.