Fitbit in health partnerships to take on Apple Watch

Henrietta Strickland
October 19, 2019

Ultimately, once Food and Drug Administration clearance of the AFib detection software on the Fitbit devices is secured, the aim is to provide users with appropriate information to help encourage and inform discussions with their doctors.

The Bristol-Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance and Fitbit today announced at the TIME 100 Health Summit in NY that they are working together to help drive timely diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (AFib) with the aim of improving earlier detection in individuals at increased risk of stroke. Researchers have projected that 8 million people in the US will be affected by AFib this year, and the number is expected to rise as the population ages.

The pre-existing Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer Alliance is committed to driving education and awareness about atrial fibrillation and venous thromboembolism.

Fitbit is reportedly developing a similar method to Apple's ECG app that is capable of detecting heart rhythms in partnership with major a United States pharmaceutical alliance.

AFib can develop without showing symptoms, and studies have suggested that more than 25 percent of people with AFib find out they have it after suffering a stroke. As the USA population ages, this number is expected to rise, as adults aged 65 and older are at an increased risk of developing the condition.

Fitbit is looking to challenge the Apple Watch, and delve more into the healthcare space.

Atrial fibrillation is a condition associated with irregular heart rhythm that increases the risk of stroke and usually common among people over 65 years.

James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit, said the company is focused on making health-products more available following the arrival of Apple's FDA cleared ECG sensor and detection software, which has increased competition in the health and wellbeing tech market. Both companies strive to integrate health diagnostics in their watches to improve daily life standards and even potentially assess medical emergencies.

Fitbit is teaming up with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer to help bring atrial fibrillation detection capabilities to its line of wearable fitness trackers as part of a larger campaign toward earlier diagnoses among those at higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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