FDA Clears Fitbit Feature That Monitors for AFib

FDA Clears Fitbit Feature That Monitors for Atrial Fibrillation

Fitbit's feature will alert users if an irregular heartbeat is detected.

Your health is in your hands. Or in this case, on your wrist.

According to a news article, the FDA recently cleared a Fitbit feature that works in the background to monitor heart rhythms. It checks for atrial fibrillation (AFib) and alerts users if this occurs.

“The unique capabilities of Fitbit devices—especially its 24/7 heart rate tracking and long battery life—give it the potential to accelerate identification through long-term heart rhythm assessment,” the Fitbit Team said in a blog post.

According to the Mayo Clinic, AFib can cause blood clots in the heart and put people at greater risk for strokes. The information from Fitbit's feature can be used to talk to a doctor to prevent health concerns.

Fitbit conducted tests during the pandemic with over 450,000 users. The results showed that the feature was correct 98% of the time in predicting AFib. According to the blog post, the study was “one of the largest remote studies of PPG-based software to date.”

As wearable technology becomes more ingrained in our daily lives, employers and safety professionals can find more effective ways to monitor employee health and safety. FDA clearance of easily acquired devices like the Fitbit feature could change the outlook for wearables in the workplace.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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