Fitbit is working on two major Apple Watch-rivaling features, and you can help make one happen

Fitbit is working on two major Apple Watch-rivaling features, and you can help make one happen
Fitbit may not be the world's most successful smartwatch vendor (or even ranked in the top three as of Q1 2020), but if you're primarily interested in activity tracking and health monitoring, you should definitely consider buying your next wearable device from the soon-to-be-Google-owned company.

In addition to being relatively affordable, products like the Fitbit Versa, Versa 2, and the newly released Charge 4 can keep a constant eye on a number of essential wellness indicators, including some stuff that the industry-leading Apple Watch lineup is still incapable of detecting or supervising. At the same time, Fitbit remains several steps behind the global market leader when it comes to implementing ECG technology, which has saved and improved countless lives since late 2018.

You shouldn't be surprised to hear Fitbit is indeed working on matching Apple's life-saving magic, officially planning to seek review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and "global regulatory authorities" soon for its "new ECG feature" after recently completing a "pivotal clinical trial." Obviously, the company can't offer an estimate on when it expects to obtain this FDA approval, especially as the whole process is currently made more cumbersome and potentially lengthier than usual by the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, if you ask us, there's a good chance we'll see Fitbit unveil its first-ever smartwatch with built-in ECG monitoring sometime this year, although we certainly hope the functionality will not be left disabled for months and months on end, like on the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2.


In the meantime, US-based owners of a Fitbit Charge 4, Charge 3, Inspire HR, Inspire, Ace 2, Versa, Versa 2, Versa Lite, or Ionic aged 22 years and older can help the company further enhance the capabilities of the heart rate monitors already built into all these fitness trackers and smartwatches.

Starting today, you can join Fitbit's first large-scale, virtual study aimed at identifying episodes of irregular heart rhythm suggestive of atrial fibrillation. AFib is already detected on Apple Watches using the aforementioned ECG functionality, but Fitbit hopes to leverage its existing photoplethysmography (PPG) technology to provide users with long-term atrial fibrillation assessment that could prove incredibly valuable to detecting early signs of heart rhythm irregularity.

Fitbit believes its wearables have the "unique potential to accelerate AFib detection" due to their stellar battery life and in-depth sleep tracking capabilities, planning to make "long-term heart rhythm assessments" while your "body is at rest", which the Apple Watch family cannot do for pretty obvious reasons... just yet.

We'll need to wait and see how the Fitbit Heart Study pans out before getting too excited, although it's definitely not too early to praise the company for trying to push the envelope by both developing new features and improving its existing health monitoring tools.

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