Fitbit is one of the leading fitness wearable manufacturers on the planet, and now it’s going to let users share their data with the All of Us research program. It will be the first fitness-based company to do so.
For those unfamiliar with All of Us, it’s a crowdsourced program dedicated to gathering information from a variety of users to further medical research for precision medicine (read: personalized treatments) at an accelerated rate. The program wants to gather information from at least one million participants, with data coming from surveys, electronic health records, physical measurements, biosamples, and digital health tech. It’s all opt-in and “strict safeguards” are used to protect privacy.
The big news here is, of course, Fitbit’s partnership with All of Us. This marks the first time a fitness company has opted to contribute to the goal of All of Us. Fitbit users who wish to participate can sign up for All of Us, then choose to sync their Fitbit data to the program. That data includes physical activity, heart rate, and sleep patterns.
The cool thing here is that Fitbit device isn’t even required to participate—just a Fitbit account. If you have a Fitbit account and use it “manually,” you can choose to sync that data with All of Us.
There’s also a second part to this program. Eventually, All of Us hopes to send out up to 10 thousand Fitbit devices of unknown model to random participants. This will help All of Us gather more data from users who already participate in the program.
But on a more personal note, the goal of All of Us (which I hadn’t heard of before today) is exciting to me because I’m the father of a chronically ill child. The research being done here could ultimately mean a longer life for him and many others who live with a chronic illness. More participants and more data are very small things that lead to very big results.