Earlier this month Fitbit Obtained approval from the US Food and Drug Administration To passively send notifications when signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib) are detected by smartwatches and trackers. Now, Fitbit is officially rolling out arrhythmia notifications for nine of its products, including the Sense and Charge 5.
Irregular heartbeat notifications are what Fitbit decided to call up notifications that alert users to a possible heart problem. AFib is the most common form of arrhythmia, affecting more than 5 million people in the United States alone according to the John Hopkins MedicineGlobally, Fitbit says more than 33 million are affected. AFib is a serious condition that puts sufferers at five times higher risk of stroke, according to Fitbit.
The technology that triggers these notifications on the Fitbit is similar to what’s used for electrocardiogram (ECG) readings but doesn’t require as much hardware. Instead, they rely on Fitbit’s PPG (photodynamic) algorithm, which the company claims is 98% more effective in detecting these conditions than a traditional ECG machine. If the ECG is limited to Fitbit Sense and Charge 5 only, arrhythmia notifications will be available on nine products, as shown below.
These Fitbit products support arrhythmia alerts:
- Fitbit Sense – Firmware version 126.96.36.199 or higher
- Fitbit Versa 3 – Firmware version 188.8.131.52 or higher
- Fitbit Versa 2 – Firmware version 184.108.40.206 or higher
- Fitbit Versa Lite – Firmware version 220.127.116.11 or higher
- Fitbit Charge 5 – Firmware version 20001.141.4 or higher
- Fitbit Luxe – Firmware version 58.20001.130.17 or higher
- Fitbit Charge 4 – Firmware version 20001.78.33 or higher
- Fitbit Inspire 2 – Firmware version 20001.98.14 or higher
Update: on support pageFitbit has confirmed that you will need to update the firmware on your Fitbit to use this feature. We have updated the above list to include the minimum firmware version for each device.
The Fitbit app detects arrhythmias without any user interaction, and takes readings when the wearer remains still or asleep. Notifications are sent to the Fitbit app.
Arrhythmia notifications are rolling out as of April 25 on the above devices, but it can take a few weeks for everyone to see them.
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