You may have heard the term “AFib” before. But do you know how it occurs—or why it’s dangerous? Simply put, an arrhythmia is when your heart doesn’t beat normally—and atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is the most common type of arrhythmia. It occurs when the upper chambers of the heart beat irregularly and out of sync with the lower chambers, which can increase the risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack.*
AFib can be hard to diagnose. It can come and go, so it may not be happening when you see your doctor or get an ECG. Palpitations and shortness of breath can be symptoms, but some people don’t have any symptoms. The good news, though, is that AFib is treatable. The earlier you identify it, the earlier you can do something.
That’s where Fitbit’s Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications feature comes in.** The feature has been validated in a large clinical study and reviewed and cleared by the US FDA. Only a healthcare provider can diagnose AFib, but this all new feature can help identify if your heart rhythm shows signs of this condition—so that you can have a better conversation with your doctor about your heart health.
How it works
You can check for signs of an irregular heart rhythm that may be AFib just by wearing your Fitbit tracker or smartwatch. When you’re still or sleeping, your device collects your heart rhythm data to check for irregularities in the beat to beat variation that may be signs of AFib.
Open the Fitbit app each day to sync your data from the previous night so that it can be analyzed.
After analysis, if multiple readings show signs of an irregular rhythm, you’ll get a notification in the app. Set up notifications from either the Heart tile or Discover tab in the Fitbit app.
You got a notification… Now what?
The feature is FDA cleared and validated in a clinical study, so if you get a notification, we recommend discussing this information with your doctor or healthcare provider to be evaluated further. Don’t make any changes to your medication or health regimen before speaking with them.
The Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications feature cannot detect heart attack, blood clots, stroke, or other heart conditions. You should never change your medication without first speaking to your doctor. Results may not be accurate in people who take medication or substances that affect heart rate or blood flow.
If you think you’re having a medical emergency, call emergency services. The feature is not intended for use by people under 22 years old or with known atrial fibrillation.
What devices is it available on?
Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications is currently available in the United States. Find it on Fitbit Charge 5, Charge 4, Luxe, Sense, Versa 2, and Inspire 2.
To set it up, enroll in the Assessment section of the Fitbit app.
Enroll in the Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications feature today.
More to know: The Fitbit Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications feature doesn’t analyze your data in real time and is not able to detect AFib continuously, especially during motion. This means it cannot identify all instances of AFib, and you may not get a notification even if you have AFib.
*Lifetime risk for development of AFib is 1 in 4 for men and women 40 years of age or older. Source: Lloyd-Jones DM, et al. “Lifetime Risk for Development of Atrial Fibrillation.” American Heart Association, 2004.
**Irregular rhythm notifications are only available in select countries and with select Fitbit products; not intended for use by people under 22 years old or with known atrial fibrillation. See fitbit.com/irregularrhythm for additional details.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.