November 09, 2017 Articles

How Data from a Plaintiff’s Wearable Technology Can Make a Difference in Personal Injury Cases

By Clint Cowan, with assistance from the late Elizabeth Smithhart

One in six American consumers currently owns and uses wearable technology—smart devices such as watches and fitness monitors that allow the compilation and exchange of data without the user’s involvement. See Bernard Marr, “15 Noteworthy Facts about Wearables in 2016,” Forbes, Mar. 18, 2016. Activity monitors such as Fitbit are capable of tracking nearly every facet of the human body. The devices compile extensive information on bodily systems—including activity levels, exercise attainment, food consumption, weight, sleep, heart rate, skin temperature, and respiratory rate. They can compile data on location using global positioning system (GPS) functionality. And they can even measure vital signs, stress levels, and hydration levels, and they can be used to monitor diseases and chronic conditions. As the proliferation of these devices—and their capabilities—increases, so also does the potential for their use in litigation.

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