ETRI published two performance test standards for wearable healthcare and formed a new group for the standardization of next-generation wearable applications, including sleep measurement.


Summary: The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) has published key international standards for wearable healthcare devices, focusing on step counting and heart rate monitoring, and also formed a group to standardize next-generation wearables, including those for sleep monitoring and diagnosis of sleep disorders. This initiative establishes global criteria for measuring device accuracy, aiming to enhance public health and stimulate industry growth. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) has published international standards for wearable healthcare devices, specifically focusing on “Test Method for Step Counting” and “Test Method for Heart Rate Measurement,” to ensure accuracy in health management functions.
  • These newly set standards are expected to enhance public health and stimulate growth in the equipment and service industries by providing a common criterion for evaluating the performance of wearable devices globally.
  • ETRI is actively working on standardizing new areas, including sleep monitoring, diagnosis of sleep disorders, and other advanced wearable applications that integrate technologies like artificial intelligence and electroencephalogram monitoring.

Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) researchers have published key international standards for wearable healthcare and formed a new group to standardize next-generation wearable applications, including sleep monitoring and diagnosis of sleep disorders.

This initiative has created a global common criterion for evaluating measurement accuracy in wearable devices. The two international standards related to the performance testing of wearable devices for healthcare and wellness are expected to set quality criteria and improve measurement accuracy, which will not only contribute to enhancing public health but also stimulate the related equipment and service industries.

Step Counting and Heart Rate Measurement

The international standards that were published are the International Electrotechnical Commission’s “Test Method for Step Counting” and “Test Method for Heart Rate Measurement.” These standards contain the methods and procedures for testing the measurement accuracy of fitness wearable devices that offer step counting and heart rate monitoring functionalities.

The research team pointed out that although over 500 million wearable devices such as smart bands, watches, and rings are sold annually for health management, there have been no standardized test methods for the accuracy of basic physical activity measurements like step counting and heart rate monitoring. This lack made it impossible to objectively compare performance and accuracy, which was a key reason for the publication of these international standards.

ETRI, in collaboration with major domestic companies, embarked on developing standards for testing the accuracy of step counting and heart rate monitoring. The research, which began in 2019, led to the proposal of international standards and culminated in their final publication six years later.

With the publication of these international standards, ETRI can now set performance criteria for wearable devices used in health management, and manufacturers are able to officially present the results of performance verification tested according to international standard methods. This is expected to not only expand the global wearable industry but also stimulate the related testing, evaluation, and certification markets.

ETRI Advances Future Standards in Wearable Sleep Technology

ETRI is actively working on discovering and standardizing new international standardization issues such as sleep monitoring and diagnosis of sleep disorders applications, wearable applications combined with artificial intelligence technology, and wearable electroencephalogram applications. To this end, ETRI proposed the formation of a new working group, with ETRI’s Jeon Jonghong serving as the chair, to drive these standardization efforts.

ETRI plans to continue collaborating with domestic industry, academia, research, and medical experts to establish new international standards for health management areas, such as wearable device sleep monitoring and diagnosis applications.

Photo caption: Jeon Jonghong, principal researcher of ETRI

Photo credit: Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute