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As Amazon works to shoulder its way into health care, a new study — funded by the company — suggests that a feature of its wearable devices can accurately assess users’ mobility.

Last year, Amazon released a movement health feature — included in a subscription membership add-on for the company’s Halo wearable devices — that uses a smartphone camera and app to assess a person’s functional mobility by observing five simple movements, including squats and lunges. The feature, called Halo Movement Health, generates an overall score from 0 to 100, identifies weak points in people’s mobility, stability, and posture, and suggests simple exercises to improve them.


The new research compares the Halo Movement Health score to metrics from a motion capture system as well as to 13 standard functional movement tests conducted by professionals, and found “moderate to strong” correlation with each, though some experts who reviewed the work expressed concerns about the accuracy of the measures it produces and how they might be interpreted by users.

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