Clearance for Fitbit’s new PPG (photoplethysmography) algorithm was granted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), paving the way for a new Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications feature for some Fitbit devices.
AFib is believed to affect around 33 million people globally, and individuals with the condition are at greater risk of suffering a potentially debilitating or life-threatening stroke.
Fitbit’s system will function around the clock, in the background, with the device’s sensors checking for any heartbeat abnormalities throughout the day and during sleep.
If the device detects anything that could be AFib, the Fitbit device will send a notification to the wearer.
Fitbit said that the feature cannot be used to diagnose AFib, it can flag up the possible presence of the condition. In that case, anyone receiving a notification is encouraged to visit a doctor.
The FDA clearance of Fitbit's PPG-based algorithm means Fitbit now offers two ways to detect AFib, the other being Fitbit’s ECG (electrocardiogram) app that lets wearers proactively screen themselves for AFib.
The Tame Apple Press said that their favourite company’s iWatch has been able to do that for a while now. But according to Apple’s website it only works occasionally so you have to be having an attack when the iWatch happens to be running a test, which makes it about as useful as a chocolate teapot.