Fitbit gains FDA approval for new AFib detection algorithm


What you need to know

  • Fitbit was approved for a proprietary PPG algorithm that will help detect atrial fibrillation (AFib.)
  • AFib is a form of irregular heart rhythm and affects more than 30 million people.
  • This algorithm was able to detect 98% of AFib episodes according to a recent study.

When comparing the best smartwatches and fitness trackers, one of the biggest things to consider is the health benefits. And while every option tracks your steps and even workouts (in most cases), this can really only go so far. Fitbit and Google are doing what they can to make the Fitbit lineup of wearables more robust in terms of fitness tracking features, as evidenced by the latest blog post.

Google confirms that Fitbit has “received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for our new PPG (photoplethysmography) algorithm to identify atrial fibrillation (AFib.)”

Fitbit Irregular AFib notification

(Image credit: Google)

This might sound a bit confusing, especially when you consider that some of the best Fitbits already have AFib detection thanks to the integrated ECG sensors. However, this announcement is for a new algorithm that is designed to provide more accurate readings compared to what is currently available.


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