FitBit to seek government clearance for new heart sensor technology

FitBit confirms that if its current heart study will produce positive results, it will apply for a government clearance for its heart sensor technology.

With the launch of FitBit Heart Study, the company plans to test the accuracy of its heart sensing algorithm. Once it yields positive results, the company aims to secure government clearance.

Should FitBit receive government approval, the company plans to integrate this new technology into its smart wearable products. The company is confident that its new algorithm can accurately detect heart rhythms which are early symptoms of atrial fibrillation.

FitBit Heart Study

The study will enroll 200,000 to 250,000 people in order to prove whether the algorithm can accurately detect atrial fibrillation. Using the data from this study, the company will apply for clearance from the Food and Drugs Administration. Should it receive clearance, FitBit will incorporate this new algorithm into its future products.

The study aims to enroll users that are 65 years and older. The reason behind this is that at this age point, people are susceptible to atrial fibrillation.

Research scientist Toney Faranesh said:

“You may have to look or a very long time to catch an episode. Our goal is to not just notify the user, but also provide some historical data to facilitate the conversation with a physician.”

Some tech analysts note that FitBit might be quite late in the game. This same feature that the company plans to integrate to its devices is already present on the Apple Watch. In fact, the Apple Watch 4 has a medical-grade electrocardiogram and it hit the stores way back in 2018.

Nevertheless, the smart wearable company is still optimistic about its plans. Among which includes an ECG app which is similar to the one in the Apple Watch.

A race to develop accurate sensors for smart wearable devices

Since the launch of the first wearable device, tech companies have thrown their hat into the game. With its huge amount of resources, Apple made it to the top with its Apple Watch series which now holds a huge part of the market.

Despite being one of the pioneers of the industry, FitBit did not achieve the popularity like that of Apple. This is largely due to the fact that smart wearable devices did not really became that popular in general.

Now, FitBit is cracking the market once again. Should the study proves successful, and it receives the clearance from the FDA, this could mean a reversal of fortune for the company.

Image courtesy by MorePix/Wikimedia Commons

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