How Do Smart Scales Work – Overview
Weight management and obesity are major health problems because of a sedentary or inactive lifestyle. For this reason, smart scales came into the limelight over the years and became famous worldwide.
According to a report, smart scale segment revenue is estimated to rise at a 6.02% annual rate (CAGR 2022-2027), resulting in a market volume of US$0.70 billion by 2027.
Keeping an eye on your weight loss journey using the smart scale can also be helpful, especially if a person is experiencing type 2 diabetes (source).
It is also called body fat scales, smart scales are one of those handy devices that one can use to monitor their body composition and weight without the assistance of a medical professional.
While some smart scales are limited to only WiFi-allowed devices, some go beyond that. But, their sole purpose is to track your weight through an application on your smartphone. This modern device is intelligent and is not limited to measuring body composition, but also helps track overall health.
We have gathered some information about how do smart scales work, which we will mention in this article. Furthermore, you’ll also know whether these scales provide an accurate estimate of a person’s body fat BFP.
Smart Scales – An Ultimate Guide of 2022
Smart scales have been introduced for over a decade. In 2009, the first Wi-Fi-enabled smart scale came into existence.
These scales are designed to convey body weight information to a smartphone application. Innovatively, they formed a digital record of an individual’s body weight.
Following are some of the health details monitored by smart scales (Source):
#3. Muscle mass
#4. Body fat percentage
#5. Body water percentage
#6. Fat mass
#7. Percentage of body water
#8. Heart rate
#9. Bone mass
Various smart scales are customized with different features, allowing the user to monitor the weight, baby weight, or weight during pregnancy. Some scales can also help you with endurance training by using Athlete Mode.
The information on the weight loss journey is typically linked to a mobile application and can share with other health apps on a smartphone. By doing this, you can keep track of your weight loss progress and every activity you do through one app.
How Do Smart Scales Work?
Fat scales or smart scales rely on BIA (bioelectrical impedance analysis) to estimate the relevant percentage of different types of substances and tissues in the body.
A weak electrical impulse sends within the body for bioelectrical impedance analysis. The impulse comes from different substances and tissues at many levels of load or resistance.
When you get to the smart scale, it starts working using a statistical formula that includes an estimate of electrical resistance along with data for one’s height, age, and gender.
Finally, this estimate will be transferred via a smartphone or other smart device. Similar to traditional scales, smart scales measure weight. Once you provide your height, these scales collect the data and calculate your BMI. This information is then passed to a smartphone application.
Note: Some scales require a Wi-Fi connection to perform calculations, while others don’t. Instead, they use Bluetooth to pass the details to your smartphone.
The smart scale delivers the information in percentage using the total fat, water, muscle, and bone density.
How Smart Scale is Beneficial?
There is no need to spend on a smart scale for the health conscious or those following a strict diet. But, if you’re concerned about up-to-date health information via an app on a smartphone, a smart scale can help you get more information about your overall health.
The fact is that the smart scale is much more than a tool used to measure weight. For example, some modern smart scales help measure the heart’s pluses, allowing the user to access data on a smartphone with other health information.
The information gathered will be shown to the healthcare provider and a smart scale owner how much weight they have lost. By doing so, your healthcare provider creates a customized weight loss plan that meets the individual needs.
Is Smart Scale Estimates Accurate?
Owners of smart scale can understand under this section; meanwhile, they offer you a temporary idea of your BFP. Having said this, they are not adequate as their manufacturers claim.
One study states that the BIA process of estimating body weight is adequate when using published, standard numerical formulas. However, the scale was tested by researchers, it did not use a sufficient formula to estimate BFP, which did not produce imprecise data.
According to the 2016 Consumer Report, they tested different body smart scales. One researcher used a lab-based device named a bod pod to determine adequate body fat estimation.
Later, this estimation compared outcomes with the data they collected from the domestic use body fat scales. However, the domestic use fat scales either underestimated or overestimated BFPs.
Are there Alternatives to Smart Scale?
One can use multiple varieties of methods to assess one BFP. While some method is ideal for use in a doctor’s office and some are perfect for use at home.
Fewer methods have been performed under well-established laboratory conditions. The more pricy substitutes, the higher the accuracy they offer.
#1. Handheld BIA devices
These devices work using electrical impulses to calculate BFP. Similar to a case with step-on body scales, handheld BIA is not much precise.
Calipers are used to calculate the distance between two sides of a thing. One can use it to estimate the thickness of the skin. Depending on the experience of an individual using calipers, the accuracy varies.
#1. Hydrostatic underwater weighing
HUW is used to estimate an individual’s body volume and density. It also calculates the volume of water.
In the nutshell, the updated version has added more features over time with the increasing demand for smart scales. Most modern scales can collect multiple health information once a person is erected on them.