Tag: health tracking

Fitness trackers could be used as evidence against the wearer in court

These wearable technology gadgets are highly popular but may also be used for legal purposes.

Consumers who purchase and use fitness trackers for the purposes of monitoring their health and activity levels may be surprised to discover that those same devices could actually be used against them in a court of law.

This type of wearable technology can monitor a lot about a person, providing useful legal evidence.

Various types of fitness trackers have been flying off the shelves, from Fitbits to Jawbones and smartwatches. They are used to track your steps and calorie burning, as well as your heart rate and sleep, in some cases. However, in a court of law, this can also provide a considerable amount of information to help to determine what the wearer was doing at the time of an incident. According to Bruce Hagen, an attorney from Atlanta whose firm has a specialty in bicycle accident cases, “This is the same as the black box data you would get on a car or a truck or an airplane.” Hagen has been requesting fitness data from his clients for a year.

The fitness trackers help to show how active a person was before an incident occurred.

Fitness Trackers and CourtWhile the wearable technology was being used to track the wearer’s activity, it can actually provide a record of that individual’s life. Some situations allow the data to be used to reveal how active a person had been, on average, before an accident, and how that trend changed following a crash. This type of data can help to provide evidence with regards to a person’s honesty about the impact an accident has had on their lives or “it can also catch them in a lie if it comes to that,” explained Hagen.

The first time this type of evidence from wearables was ever used was from a case in rural Pennsylvania. As it turned out, the law enforcement officers from the case were the ones who thought of accessing the data from the wearable technology.

The case involved a 911 call in which a Florida woman reported a sexual assault by an unknown intruder while she had been staying at her boss’s home. For a number of reasons, Detective Chris Jones started to doubt the woman’s case as he conducted his investigation. He then realized that she had a Fitbit, and he requested her login and password in order to access the information stored within her tracking account.

The fitness tracker data showed that the wearer had taken around 1,000 steps between the time she claimed to have gone to bed and the time and phoning the police. This evidence held up in court, revealing that she had been taking the steps as she staged the crime scene.

Wearables could reduce the price tag on employer healthcare

The co-founders of Jiff are working to encourage workers at large companies to live healthier lifestyles.

Co-founders of a startup called Jiff have taken the example from PayPal, Facebook, and Tickle, and have developed a way to incorporate that knowledge into wearables that will encourage employees of companies such as Red Bull, Activision Blizzard, and Qualcomm to take on healthier behaviors and better overall lifestyles.

They have now raised just under $26 million in order to create a disruption to benefits programs from employers.

The strategy is to provide employees with meaningful incentives to encourage them to take on healthier behaviors. This will use a range of different methods and tools, including wearables, in order to improve the overall health of employees and to drive down the costs associated with their health insurance packages. Among the incentives that are being offered is to be able to earn credits that can be applied against deductibles if claims need to be made on their health plans.

Wearables in the form of fitness trackers, smartwatches, and other gadgets help to show who is truly participating.

Wearables - Cut price tagBy using wearable technology, employers don’t need to take a worker’s word for it. They can actually see exactly how much effort an individual employee is putting into the healthy lifestyle strategy so that they can receive their incentive rewards.

According to the CEO of Jiff, Derek Newell, “Our engagement is usually with the head of benefits. … We work with them to determine what behaviors they want to incent or what challenges they want to design into the system.” The incentives for this program are fully customizable, depending on the current health of a given employee. For instance, a worker who is currently managing diabetes would be offered different types of rewards than someone who hasn’t been diagnosed with any chronic conditions at all.

On the side of employers, this wearables based health tracking program helps to promote cost reductions when it comes to providing their employees with healthcare coverage. Moreover, this type of program has also been shown to boost the overall feeling of community and goodwill within a workplace.