Fitbit to now do its bit to SAVE your life; Know what this new feature is
Fitbit has received the go-ahead from the US Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) for a new feature that can potentially save your life.
Fitbit will soon be able to save people's lives by detecting any irregularities in their heartbeat. The San Francisco-based consumer electronics company has recently received approval from the US Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) for a new algorithm that detects and analyzes heartbeat irregularities. The feature can give users an early warning sign for potentially fatal diseases. Fitbit applied for the approval in March and now that it has received it, the company is free to release a new smartwatch with this functionality. However, since it does not have approvals from other countries, the feature might be region-locked outside of the US.
The new algorithm is part of Fitbit's large-scale heart study in 2020 which followed 450,000 people for five months, according to a report by TechCrunch. In the study, the smartwatch makers found that the Fitbit technology was 98 percent as effective as an ECG patch when it came to detecting incidents of atrial fibrillation. For the uninitiated, atrial fibrillation or A-fib is an irregular and rapid heartbeat that can lead to formation of blood clots in the heart. The symptom increases the risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.
Fitbit new feature to monitor heartbeats
While the approval comes now, Fitbit already has two devices in the market with ECG sensors that can detect the early signs of atrial fibrillation. Fitbit Charge 5 and Fitbit Sense both were released in fall 2021. However, the devices can only take readings when a user activates the app on the watch and holds their finger on the case for one full minute. This new Fitbit feature now gives the smartwatch a functionality where it can monitor heartbeat irregularities passively, without the user needing to do anything.
The company maintains that the feature cannot diagnose a heart condition, but it can detect a potential issue which the user should share with their doctor. The main advantage of the Fitbit new feature is that most people do not find the time to take ECG checks everyday, and since atrial fibrillation is an irregular symptom, it may not show up when the user does a manual check for a period of just one minute. With this passive monitoring, users will get a full report of their heartbeat of the entire day and the reliability of the sensors will also increase.