Make an Impact on Heart Health by Signing Up for the New Fitbit Heart Study

Did you know that atrial fibrillation (AFib) affects nearly 33.5 million people all around the world? For them, early detection is key because AFib—the most common form of treated heart arrhythmia—can increase the risk of life-threatening events, such as a stroke or heart attack. 

That’s where the Fitbit Heart Study comes in. Simply put, it’s our first large-scale, virtual study using data collected from Fitbit devices with heart rate tracking. The study may validate the use of Fitbit’s wearable technology to identify episodes of irregular heart rhythm suggestive of AFib. It’s a part of our broader mission to develop innovative tools that help people better understand and manage their heart health. And it’s especially important that these tools are developed because until recently, they were only accessible if you visited a doctor. 

Help make history using your heart. By participating in this study, you can help make the world a healthier place! 

Why is the Fitbit Heart Study important? 

Someone in the US has a stroke every 40 seconds, and atrial fibrillation increases your chances of it. But it’s not always easy to recognize if you have AFib; unfortunately, detection sometimes goes unnoticed or overlooked. You can have it and not know it, as episodes can be sporadic or lack symptoms—and as a result, untreated AFib doubles the risk of heart disease-related deaths, as well as being associated with a five-fold increased risk for stroke. The number of adults developing AFib increases markedly with older age

“Until recently, tools for detecting AFib had a number of limitations and were only accessible if you visited a doctor,” said Steven Lubitz, MD, MPH, principal investigator of the Fitbit Heart Study, cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “My hope is that advancing research on innovative and accessible technology, like Fitbit devices, will lead to more tools that help improve health outcomes and reduce the impact of AFib on a large scale.” 

It’s our hope, too. 

“The Fitbit Heart Study advances our heart health efforts [as a company],” said Eric Friedman, Fitbit co-founder and CTO. “Long-term passive heart rhythm assessment with our wide range of affordable devices and 24/7 heart rate tracking technology has the potential to improve earlier identification of AFib, which is a key to reducing the risk of a life-threatening event like stroke. By conducting this important research, we have the opportunity to develop and provide access to technology that may be able to improve public health and save lives.” 

The algorithm used in the Fitbit Heart Study is intended to assess whether a person’s heart rhythm is consistent with AFib, and if it is, will recommend consultation with a doctor. With your help, we can test this algorithm across a large number of people participating. 

How does it work? 

If you’re in the US and are 22 years old or above, you may be eligible to participate and enroll! You’ll need to have a Fitbit device active in your account that tracks heart rate, such as any of our smartwatches, Fitbit Charge 3, Fitbit Charge 4, or the Fitbit Inspire HR. As this is our first large-scale study, we encourage users at higher risk for AFib, such as those aged 65 and older, to join.

Additionally, if at any point you get an irregular heart rhythm notification, we’ll set you up with an independent telehealth provider for a virtual visit, at no cost. You may receive an electrocardiogram (ECG) patch in the mail, at no cost, for a full evaluation.

Enroll in the Fitbit Heart Study today 

The Fitbit Heart Study is the next step in our journey to provide users with innovative heart health tools. By joining, you can help us test the capabilities of our technology, so we can bring it to more people in the future, potentially help to reduce the risk of stroke, and improve population health. The study results will support our applications to global government agencies, including the US Food and Drug Administration, for approvals to make our AFib identification tool available to Fitbit users around the world.

Now, we’re welcoming you to put on your Fitbit device, open your app, and enroll to be a part of this innovative new study with us. Join here.

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