Fitbit data being used in court as evidence of injury

Nate Swanner - Nov 17, 2014, 5:47 pm CDT
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Fitbit data being used in court as evidence of injury

If you sit idle long enough, your fitness tracker may nudge you to get up and move around. It’s a means to keep you active, and one person is now claiming she can’t respond to those vibrations on her wrist. In a Canadian court, one woman is trying to use data from her Fitbit to prove injuries suffered from an accident leave her a shell of her former, active self. Whether or not that will work is another story altogether.


The woman’s Fitbit data is being fed through Vivametrica, an analytics platform designed to compare personal activity levels. Her lawyers want to prove the former personal trainer is incapable of getting back to her former healthy lifestyle.

We’re expecting the results to show that her activity level is less and compromised as a result of her injury” said her lawyer, Simon Muller.

It’s the first time “actual” data has been used in a personal injury case. Until now, courts have relied on eyewitness accounts and reference material from doctors or neighbors. Medical records also help, but what about unquantifiable injuries?

In this case, lawyers think Fitbit data will carry the day. Unfortunately, Fitbits (like any wearable, really) are easy to spoof. Set one down, and it registers you as inactive. Wearables also aren’t necessarily accurate. I didn’t get up once last night, but my wearable thinks I did.

In using the wearable data, this case is the first of its kind, and will likely set a precedent moving forward, one way or another.

It will be interesting to see how the case works out, but for now, it’s either amazing or concerning. The woman involved in this case volunteered her info, but it’s easy to see a scenario in which someone is forced to wear something similar to satisfy an insurance claim.

Source: Forbes


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