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The use of commercial wrist-worn technology to track physiological outcomes in behavioral interventions.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the use of commercial wrist-worn mobile health devices to track and monitor physiological outcomes in behavioral interventions as well as discuss considerations for selecting the optimal device.

RECENT FINDINGS: Wearable technology can enhance intervention design and implementation. The use of wrist-worn wearables provides the opportunity for tracking physiological outcomes, thus providing a unique approach for assessment and delivery of remote interventions. Recent findings support the utility, acceptability, and benefits of commercial wrist-worn wearables in interventions, and they can be used to continuously monitor outcomes, remotely administer assessments, track adherence, and personalize interventions. Wrist-worn devices show acceptable accuracy when measuring heart rate, blood pressure, step counts, and physical activity; however, accuracy is dependent on activity type, intensity, and device brand. These factors should be considered when designing behavioral interventions that utilize wearable technology.

SUMMARY: With the continuous advancement in technology and frequent product upgrades, the capabilities of commercial wrist-worn devices will continue to expand, thus increasing their potential use in intervention research. Continued research is needed to examine and validate the most recent devices on the market to better inform intervention design and implementation.

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