This post was originally published on the Fitbit press site. It has been adapted from its original format.
Fitbit and FibriCheck, an innovative health screening and monitoring app, today announced they are expanding their partnership to enable users in France, Germany, Italy and Spain to monitor their heart rhythm for irregularities, such as Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) directly from their Fitbit smartwatch. The FibriCheck software, which is CE marked, meets the performance standards for medical devices in the European Union (EU).
AFib, an irregular heart rhythm that is often difficult to detect or diagnose because of irregular occurrences, is a leading cause of stroke, the occurrence of which in Europe is predicted to increase to more than 800,000 by 2035. The FibriCheck app for Fitbit smartwatches became available in September 2019 to Fitbit users in Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the UK. Since it launched on Fitbit OS, more than 150,000 heart rhythm measurements have been taken by users on their Fitbit smartwatch.
“For more than a decade, Fitbit has helped millions of people around the world take control of their health by providing them with a holistic picture of their health and wellness. Our partnership with FibriCheck expands on this vision by offering an accessible way for people to detect irregular heart rhythms using their Fitbit smartwatch, helping them to potentially identify and monitor heart conditions like Atrial Fibrillation,” said Nicola Maxwell, Director of Health Solutions & Services, EMEA for Fitbit.
The FibriCheck app runs on the Fitbit OS and uses Fitbit’s commercial-grade PPG (photoplethysmography) sensors – light-based technology that measures the rate of blood flow – to capture heart rhythm measurements from a user’s wrist. The measurement assessment can be viewed directly on the smartwatch screen and easily shared with medical professionals via a FibriCheck web interface to help diagnose conditions such as AFib.
The FibriCheck smartphone app has been available for users to measure their heart rhythm via the camera on their smartphones since 2016. A clinical trial was conducted to validate and support CE Marking of the FibriCheck application on Fitbit smartwatches. The trial compared FibriCheck on Fitbit smartwatches to gold-standard 12-lead ECG and state-of-the-art wearable single lead ECG technologies. The results indicated that the FibriCheck algorithm on Fitbit smartwatches was highly accurate in correctly detecting the presence of AFib when compared to ECG. As a result, this partnership between Fitbit and FibriCheck is expected to make trusted heart health monitoring accessible to more consumers in Europe.
“FibriCheck is an easy-to-use, first step for people who have concerns about their heart health or who have been advised to monitor their heart rhythm consistently by a medical professional,” said Lars Grieten, CEO, FibriCheck. “By partnering with Fitbit, we are bringing our technology to millions of consumers’ wrists regardless of mobile device platform, and it provides an accessible option for consumers to better understand their heart health and then easily share those insights with a medical professional who can support their care.”
FibriCheck will be available on Fitbit Versa, Fitbit Versa Lite Edition, Fitbit Versa 2 and Fitbit Ionic devices and can be accessed through the Fitbit app gallery on smartphones. FibriCheck has a subscription model starting at €3.99 per month and a one-day free trial is available. A FibriCheck reading can be completed in 60 seconds. Instant, color-coded feedback is sent directly to the smartwatch screen; from green indicating that no irregularities have been detected, to red, which advises users to seek medical advice. A detailed report is also available via the FibriCheck smartphone app, which can be shared with medical professionals.