Thursday, December 01, 2022

New Fitbit Programmable Monitor Heart Rhythm for AFib

New Fitbit Programmable Monitor Heart Rhythm for AFib

Three Fitbit Watches Are Displayed Inside A Store Windowshare on pinterest
Fitbit watches will now have a new program that monitors the heart rhythm for atrial fibrillation. Sean Gallup/Getty Images
  • Federal regulators have approved a new algorithm for use in Fitbit watches.
  • Google says the new program checks for signs of atrial fibrillation by monitoring the heart’s rhythm.
  • Experts note that the new Fitbit algorithm is part of a growing wave of technology that allows individuals to monitor their health on a daily basis.

The world of wearable devices to help detect potentially dangerous irregular heartbeats is about to expand.

Google officials have announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of the company’s algorithm that allows its Fitbit watches to pick up on atrial fibrillation, or AFib, the most common arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. Is.

People often describe AFib as a pounding “palpitations” of their heart that can make them feel weak. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Estimate That by 2030, approximately 12 million people in the United States will have AFib. The danger is that AFib can increase your risk of having a stroke by as much as five times.

In their statement, Google officials say that their photoplethysmography or PPG-based algorithm can assess your heart rhythm in the background while you are still sitting or sleeping. If it detects a rhythm that could be AFib, you’ll get an alert.

Only then should you tell your doctor so that your health team can assess what is going on.

“I think these devices are a good thing … because they bring more awareness,” said Dr., an arrhythmia specialist at the DeBekey Heart and Vascular Center at Houston Methodist Hospital, Texas Medical Center. Randall’s Wolf said.

“The standard of care has been an EKG (electrocardiogram) in a doctor’s office. But it’s a spot check and isn’t very good at telling us if someone has intermittent arrhythmias,” Wolfe told Healthline.

“So if we can detect and treat that stroke risk, we can reduce the stroke rate. That’s a huge advantage because strokes are devastating,” he said.

Wolf refers to the technology fueling devices as part of a growing market.

The Apple Watch also detects arrhythmias and the KardiaMobile is a wallet-sized personal EKG device that lets you measure your heart rate and rhythm and capture data on your smartphone.

Google explains how the new Fitbit feature works like this.

PPG is an optical sensor that can detect the expansion and contraction of blood vessels and thus your heart rate from your wrist.

The FDA has approved the Fitbit feature. This means the company can demonstrate that its product is on par with any other device that already has FDA approval or approval. Low-risk medical devices are usually “cleared” by the FDA.

Fitbit and Massachusetts General Hospital began a study of PPG technology in 2020.

Researchers followed more than 450,000 participants over five months during the COVID-19 pandemic. None of the participants had been previously diagnosed with AFib. Study showed that the Fitbit PPG algorithm correctly detected AFib 98 percent of the time.

“There can be a downside. Most of the technology isn’t perfect. It’s not what we call a 12 lead EKG and there are false positives,” Wolf said.

“Something may show up and it’s not important,” he said. “But therapy has a risk-benefit. There may be a slight concern to see something on their Fitbit or Apple Watch, but the benefit is big. Because they seek medical advice.”

And Wolf says that more widespread use of these types of devices could change what we know about arrhythmias.

“We’re finding that we don’t know the actual incidence of arrhythmias in the US or the world. That’s because we base most of our information on those spot checks in doctors’ offices,” Wolff explained.

“I think we can find the phenomenon much higher and more common,” he said. “It can be somewhat normal to have a few extra beats here and there when you’re doing something. We don’t know that, but it’s something we’re starting to see.”

Google didn’t say when the new Fitbit feature would be available, but they did say it’s coming soon.

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