TomTom Touch: Heart rate activity across multiple users for research. — TomTom Community

TomTom Touch: Heart rate activity across multiple users for research.

DDJCUDDJCU Posts: 6 [Neophyte Traveler]
edited January 2019 in TomTom Touch
I want to track continuous heart-rate activity across multiple users for research. If i have 12 trackers shared across 60 participants will i still get accurate heart-rate tracking? I only want to use for light activity during a nature walk, nothing strenuous, but need to use the same tracker for multiple participants.

Given the need to enter use stats, i thought to set up some with female average stats and some with male average stats. Will this work, and will i be able to set up so many trackers in my one user account?

Comments

  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 16,384
    Superusers
    This is a consumer grade device and is really not meant for research. You cannot share the device across participants and it is very difficult to change personal stats (assuming you need this - if all you are looking for is the HR reading it does not matter how the watch is set up, it will simply record and sync data stream). Changing stats is done through the MySports site, not the device, so each time you want to change a participant you would need to reset the account, sync the device and do it again the next time. You will also have no way of knowing which activity was which device, as when you have multiple devices on one account it does not distinguish between them. Plus be aware the HR tracking can be spotty, again as it is a consumer product and in non-sports mode it is only taking a reading once every ten minutes for one second. I imagine you are going this route because the devices are inexpensive, but they are cheap for a reason. You might be better off getting an HR strap for each person synced to their phone so you can easily share the strap as all straps simply transit an HR data stream.

    Your other concern is that TT is out of business in the watch market so there is little likelihood of any future updates beyond bug fixes and there are issues that have been outstanding for over 9 months with no fix. Be careful with your buying decision.

    I hope this helped answer your question. If so, please mark it as a solution so others can look for it if they have the same question.
  • DDJCUDDJCU Posts: 6 [Neophyte Traveler]
    Thanks for your detailed response.
    "You cannot share the device across participants and it is very difficult to change personal stats (assuming you need this - if all you are looking for is the HR reading it does not matter how the watch is set up, it will simply record and sync data stream)"

    I want to measure continuous heart rate across a 2-3 hr period for each person, so if personal stats not required for accurate heart rate tracking seems no issue.

    "You will also have no way of knowing which activity was which device, as when you have multiple devices on one account it does not distinguish between them."

    Ok, so this means i'd need to set up an individual account for each tracker. Is it possible to link multiple accounts to one email address?

    "Plus be aware the HR tracking can be spotty, again as it is a consumer product and in non-sports mode it is only taking a reading once every ten minutes for one second. I imagine you are going this route because the devices are inexpensive, but they are cheap for a reason."

    I decided on the TomTom tracker based on a published research paper reporting a comparative test across various trackers. Seems TomTom came out ok for continuous heart rate for non-strenuous activity.

    "You might be better off getting an HR strap for each person synced to their phone so you can easily share the strap as all straps simply transit an HR data stream."

    This would increase my budget, because would then need to purchase at least 60 HR straps. Also, if need an HR strap for each person, how does sharing come in?
  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 16,384
    Superusers
    HR tracking is just collecting data so you should be fine, it does not care if they are male or female, it is just giving you a series of numbers.

    You cannot have multiple accounts to one email. One tracker = one email, so each device would have its own account but everyone using that single device would show up on the same account with no way to distinguish them.

    Optical HR tends to be inaccurate at first and are much more sensitive to positioning, skin type and other factors than chest straps. You are opening yourself up to false readings using optical. While TT may be okay as far as optical HR goes, optical is far inferior to electrical monitoring through a chest strap. And even among optical, you are better off with an upper arm based strap like the Scosche.

    If you are only buying 12 trackers why would you not just buy 12 HR straps? Considering how cheap HR straps are (and they are also much more accurate) for the price of 12 trackers you could probably buy 36 HR straps, limiting the amount that need to be shared.
  • DDJCUDDJCU Posts: 6 [Neophyte Traveler]
    Thanks again for your very useful response. I'll have another think about which way to go. I hear you on the point of data accuracy, which is so important, but not sure if people would even agree to wearing a chest strap. I hadn't come across Scosche but will check it out for feasibility. An arm band could be a workable alternative. Much appreciated for your time and suggestions.
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