For the past two years, Fitbit had been testing its upcoming feature, passive heart rate monitoring. Today, the company announced that it has finally got the FDA clearance for the said feature.
The feature examines wearers’ cardiac rhythms on a regular basis and notifies them if they show signs of atrial fibrillation, a form of irregular heartbeat that puts patients at risk of stroke.
In a research conducted by Fitbit in 2020, the technology was proven to correctly identify patients with atrial fibrillation 98 percent of the time. The addition of this feature to Fitbit devices aligns the company’s heart-monitoring technology with that of the Apple Watch, which similarly uses passive scanning to try to detect cardiac rhythms that could indicate atrial fibrillation. Neither device can provide a diagnosis, but they can alert users to potential problems that they should discuss with their doctor.
Passive atrial fibrillation could “help minimize the likelihood of potentially life-threatening events — including stroke — and eventually enhance overall heart health for everyone,” according to the Fitbit team in a blog post. This is the hope for this type of device: it could help patients detect atrial fibrillation early, allowing them to better manage their heart health. However, it’s still unclear whether these qualities protect people’s health.
The new feature of passive heart rate monitoring will be accessible to Fitbit customers in the United States “soon,” according to Fitbit.
via - The Verge
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