FDA greenlights Fitbit’s AFib detection algorithm designed for long term monitoring

This morning Fitbit landed FDA clearance for its long-awaited photoplethysmography atrial fibrillation (AFib) detection algorithm. The algorithm might be a part of Fitbit’s new Irregular Coronary heart Rhythm Notification function, which was designed to alert customers of potential AFib. 

The know-how is ready to run passively on Fitbit wearables and assess coronary heart rhythm when an individual is sleeping or not transferring. Customers with suspected AFib will get a notification suggesting that they see a healthcare skilled.  

“When your coronary heart beats, tiny blood vessels all through your physique broaden and contract based mostly on adjustments in blood quantity,” the Fitbit staff wrote within the weblog saying the clearance.

“Fitbit’s PPG optical heart-rate sensor can detect these quantity adjustments proper out of your wrist. These measurements decide your coronary heart rhythm, which the detection algorithm then analyzes for irregularities and potential indicators of atrial fibrillation.”

Customers have been beforehand in a position to make use of Fitbit’s ECG app for a spot-check evaluation. This new clearance permits another method, which makes use of the PPG-based algorithm for a long-term heart-rhythm evaluation. In line with the corporate’s launch, the brand new function and algorithm will quickly be accessible within the U.S. 

In March, the corporate introduced that it submitted the AFib detection algorithm to the FDA. On the time the corporate additionally highlighted the Fitbit Heart Study, which was launched in 2020 with results launched late final 12 months. The analysis, offered on the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, discovered that the Fitbit PPG detection was capable of appropriately determine AFib episodes 98% of the time.  


According to the Mayo Clinic, AFib can enhance a affected person’s danger of stroke, coronary heart failure and different heart-related issues. The well being system experiences that AFib by itself is not sometimes deadly, however it does require remedy to stop a stroke. 

Fitbit is pitching its know-how as a manner to assist customers detect potential AFib. 

“AFib is a type of irregular coronary heart rhythm that impacts almost 33.5 million folks globally, and people with AFib have 5 occasions greater danger of stroke. Sadly, AFib might be tough to detect as there are sometimes no signs and episodes can come and go,” Fitbit wrote in a launch.


It is no secret that wearable corporations wish to broaden their attain into the guts well being area. In 2018, Apple grew to become the primary client tech firm to roll out an ECG feature.

Fitbit shortly adopted in 2020, touchdown regulatory clearance within the U.S. and European Union for its Fitbit Sense to watch coronary heart rhythm and detect atrial fibrillation. Different corporations together with Withings and Samsung have additionally added ECG options.


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