Fitbit has always been a fitness-focused wearable company, but it has really stepped up its health-tracking game with all kinds of new sensors, devices, and features over the past year or so. According to a recent post on the company’s blog, we may soon be able to track a new health metric — our blood pressure.
Fitbit is currently undertaking a study through its Fitbit Labs research arm to see how some of its existing Fitbit devices might be used to track a person’s blood pressure. The study will try to determine if the sensor array on the Sense smartwatch can measure Pulse Arrival Time (PAT), which is a measure of how long it takes a pulse of blood to reach your wrist after a heartbeat. It’s thought that this could provide useful information on how to manage one’s blood pressure for those without access to a traditional blood pressure cuff.
Fitbit’s current flagship smartwatch — the Fitbit Sense — is one of the most fully-featured health wearables. It can already measure things like your electrodermal activity, skin temperature, SpO2, and it can also handle advanced sleep monitoring and menstrual health tracking.
The company recently (and retroactively) added features to existing devices, such as when it switched on SpO2 monitoring capabilities on the Charge 4 fitness tracker. It also brought the ability to monitor and track your blood glucose levels within the Fitbit app and view them on your Fitbit smartwatch. Therefore, it stands to reason that, should this trial be successful, we might see the feature not only in new devices but rolled out to existing Fitbit wearables as well.
If you are interested in participating in the study, you must be a U.S. resident over 20 years old, and you must have a Fitbit Sense smartwatch. Those who meet these criteria should receive a notification on their smartwatch with instructions on how to sign up.
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