Google Wants FDA Approval For Fitbit’s Heart Rate Monitoring

In the second edition of Google Annual Health Events – Examination – The company shares the main developments surrounding its centric health initiative. While the event sees a team of all Google shared data from the main developments on the health fronts, the most interesting updates come from the Google Fitbit Team. 

A blog post made back the event revealed that Fitbit has submitted a new passive heart monitoring algorithm developed into the food and drug administration for u.s. Fitbit confirmed that the algorithm was developed based on data collected from adults who agreed to a large-scale virtual health study in charge of the Fitbit Heart study.

Google said more than half a million people participating in this study helped Google test the AFIB PPG (Atrial Fibrillation) algorithm. This algorithm allows a passive fitbit device to record heart rate data and look for the possibility of warning signs. The aim is to develop an early warning system in-house for Fitbit. This system tends to be similar to what we have seen on Apple Watch, which has saved thousands of life. Apart from the FDA, the results of the study were also presented to the American Heart Association Meeting, with Fitbit claiming that the algorithm showed a success rate of 98% in detecting undiagnosed Afib.

Is this Fitbit update too little, too late?

In contrast to Apple Watch, which can passively check irregular heart rhythms without constant user input, Fitbit today does not have this ability. All heart rhythm data collected on Fitbit devices is taken after the user decides to read. This exactly developed algorithm aims to change. Post-FDA approval, the Fitbit device will approach Apple Watch in terms of passive heart monitoring capabilities and giving it very much needed capabilities to send warnings if atrial fibrillation occurs.

With Apple devices seem to have this ability for age now, is this case Google do some late things? The market will eventually make the decision but we believe that all technological advancements that have the potential to save lives must be encouraged. On the other hand, the possibility of some people will be a little skeptical about submitting health related data to companies like Google.

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