Commercial, Medical Device, or Open Source

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Often one of the most important features of a device is its license because this often determines many other properties of the device.


The most commonly known and popular type. Sold for profit, to the average consumer and with absolutely on guarantees. Worst category for privacy because companies make money selling your data to 3d party data brokers.[1] Usually easy to set up and understand. Unfortunately exporting (access to your own data) is not guaranteed[2][3], though workarounds can be found on github. No guarantees also means that the information the device pretends to measure could be completely made up. For an example, buy an off-brand smart watch from any big online marketplace or look up the history of fitness trackers and distance.[1] More commonly, the devices that really measure something often do not warn the user if the signal the device is getting is really bad and therefor obscure real data with junk. Perhaps some guarantees of quality of a device can be made through word of mouth, scientific studies and brand name. You can find alot of this information on this wiki's Category:Tools and Open humans data imports.

Medical Devices in USAEdit

Like commercial device but with an FDA guarantee[4] of sensor quality. Avoiding FDA classification may be a fear of the legal consequences of layman misusing a device labeled as medical but also could be because the device really is only meant to encourage healthiness. To market to people with medical conditions product must be FDA approved medical. Usually more expensive. Decent privacy as data is protected by HIPAA. No guarantee of data export and if none then no workarounds.[5]

Open SourceEdit

Requires some DIY even if that is just understanding how to use an accompanying analysis program. Often much more. Cheapest category partly because commercial products often require a monthly fee.[6][7] Company cannot disappear and suddenly make the product not function at all.[8][9] Always exports data. Never hides the fact that the device is recording bad signals and so does not add noise to the data. Best for privacy because no company need get access to your data. Nightscout was originally an open source project from which was made an FDA approved medical device.[10]