Accuracy of Fitbit Wristbands in Measuring Sleep Stage Transitions and the Effect of User-Specific Factors.

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Accuracy of Fitbit Wristbands in Measuring Sleep Stage Transitions and the Effect of User-Specific Factors.

JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2019 06 06;7(6):e13384

Authors: Liang Z, Chapa-Martell MA

BACKGROUND: It has become possible for the new generation of consumer wristbands to classify sleep stages based on multisensory data. Several studies have validated the accuracy of one of the latest models, that is, Fitbit Charge 2, in measuring polysomnographic parameters, including total sleep time, wake time, sleep efficiency (SE), and the ratio of each sleep stage. Nevertheless, its accuracy in measuring sleep stage transitions remains unknown.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the accuracy of Fitbit Charge 2 in measuring transition probabilities among wake, light sleep, deep sleep, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep under free-living conditions. The secondary goal was to investigate the effect of user-specific factors, including demographic information and sleep pattern on measurement accuracy.
METHODS: A Fitbit Charge 2 and a medical device were used concurrently to measure a whole night’s sleep in participants’ homes. Sleep stage transition probabilities were derived from sleep hypnograms. Measurement errors were obtained by comparing the data obtained by Fitbit with those obtained by the medical device. Paired 2-tailed t test and Bland-Altman plots were used to examine the agreement of Fitbit to the medical device. Wilcoxon signed-rank test was performed to investigate the effect of user-specific factors.
RESULTS: Sleep data were collected from 23 participants. Sleep stage transition probabilities measured by Fitbit Charge 2 significantly deviated from those measured by the medical device, except for the transition probability from deep sleep to wake, from light sleep to REM sleep, and the probability of staying in REM sleep. Bland-Altman plots demonstrated that systematic bias ranged from 0% to 60%. Fitbit had the tendency of overestimating the probability of staying in a sleep stage while underestimating the probability of transiting to another stage. SE>90% (P=.047) was associated with significant increase in measurement error. Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI)<5 and wake after sleep onset (WASO)<30 min could be associated to significantly decreased or increased errors, depending on the outcome sleep metrics.
CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis shows that Fitbit Charge 2 underestimated sleep stage transition dynamics compared with the medical device. Device accuracy may be significantly affected by perceived sleep quality (PSQI), WASO, and SE.

PMID: 31172956 [PubMed – in process]