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Baton Rouge researchers evaluate Amazon’s Halo Band

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 2:37 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A wristband has gotten a lot of attention from researchers. Amazon’s Halo Band has a list of features, including how many steps you’re taking, your heart rate and tracks how much sleep you’re getting.

It also has a tone of voice analysis that helps you see how you sound to others to help strengthen your communication.

“I’m interested in tracking my physiology, my health, my heart rate, quality of my sleep, things like that,” said Dr. Steven Heymsfield, Professor of Metabolism and Body Composition.

Dr. Steven Heymsfield, with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, said he’s learned a ton through his research on the Amazon Halo.

“It has a different orientation than others say the Fitbit or the Apple Watch, which are actually watches. This one’s just a band. I don’t notice it on me,” said Heymsfield.

One of the key differences between the Halo Band and other fitness bands like Fitbit or Apple Watch is the Halo’s ability to measure your body composition.

Dr. Heymsfield said many physicians use body mass index to figure out if someone has obesity. The drawback with BMI is that it can’t tell the difference between fat and muscle, but the Amazon device claims to give you a more accurate body fat percentage.

Heymsfield’s team evaluated 134 people with various methods of measuring body composition using both consumer and professional models. He was surprised to find the Halo’s body feature proved to be comparably accurate to DXA- the industry’s gold standard in measuring body fat percentage.

During the study, Halo members used their smartphones to take four pictures of themselves: front, back, and right and left sides. The body feature gives users their body fat percentage, a personalized 3D body model, and a slider tool that allows them to see how their body shape could change as their body fat percentages vary.

“More and more of these kinds of novel ways of finding out about ourselves are going to come from these kinds of devices,” said Heymsfield.

Scientists hoping tools like this that offer information about their health will help solve the obesity epidemic.

Amazon’s halo band runs for $99 and comes in three colors. If you’re interested in buying it or learning more, click here.

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