Fitbit’s upcoming Sense smartwatch is its most advanced health tracker to date. And that claim just grew stronger, as the company received FDA clearance to turn on its EKG electrocardiogram (EKG) heart monitor app before the watch even releases.
A smartwatch EKG monitors your heart rhythm and looks for evidence of atrial fibrillation (AFib), which is the most common type of irregular heartbeat. Because of the implications of health tracking, companies need FDA clearance before they can offer the feature to users.
“Helping people understand and manage their heart health has always been a priority for Fitbit, and our new ECG app is designed for those users who want to assess themselves in the moment and review the reading later with their doctor,” said Eric Friedman, Fitbit co-founder and CTO. “Early detection of AFib is critical, and I’m incredibly excited that we are making these innovations accessible to people around the world to help them improve their heart health, prevent more serious conditions and potentially save lives.”
AFib can be difficult to detect and puts people at an increased risk of stroke. Often, people don’t realize they were in AFib until after a stroke. Early detection can lead to better health outcomes, after all.
The Fitbit Sense marks the third smartwatch with an app cleared for EKG use, following the Apple Watch and Samsung. The clearance comes just in time for Fitbit to release the new device with the feature turned on, something Samsung didn’t manage with the Galaxy Active2.