Fitbit makes irregular heart rhythm notifications available in SA

  • Earlier this year Fitbit announced that its Afib assessment feature received approval in the US.
  • Now the feature has been cleared for use in South Africa and is available on certain Fitbit devices.
  • It will allow wearers to receive notification about irregular heart rhythm, should that be an issue they need to actively monitor.

In April of this year, the Google-owned Fitbit made an announcement regarding its atrial fibrillation (AFib) feature to detect an irregular heart rhythm, which had received approval for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

At the time this was limited to the US alone, as other regulatory bodies needed to sign off in their respective countries, but now the feature is accessible in South Africa.

“Earlier this year, Fitbit received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the new PPG (photoplethysmography) algorithm to identify atrial fibrillation (AFib). This is the algorithm that powers Fitbit’s new Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications feature on Fitbit. The feature has CE mark, is FDA certified and is now available in South Africa,” Fitbit explained in a press release sent to Hypertext.

“Fitbit’s new PPG AFib algorithm can passively assess your heart rhythm in the background while you’re still or asleep. If there’s anything that might be suggestive of AFib, you’ll be notified through our Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications feature — allowing you to talk with your healthcare provider or seek further assessment to help prevent a significant medical event, such as stroke,” it added.

A handy feature indeed, especially for those who actively need to track irregular heart rhythms. It should be noted that at the time of writing, not all Fitbit wearables have access to it.

To that end, the FAQ section of the Irregular Heart Rhythm Fitbit portal says the ECG app is limited to the Fitbit Sense 2, Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Charge 5.

You can see a video of how it works on the Sense in the video below.


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