Google has submitted Fitbit’s passive heart rate tracking algorithm to the US Food and Drug Administration for assessment following large-scale virtual health research.
The research, which began in May 2020 and was accessible to all Fitbit users in the United States over the age of 22, was aimed to see how well the gadget could identify atrial fibrillation or an abnormal heartbeat. Photoplethysmography is used in the system to track the blood flow in a user’s wrist and identify if there are any abnormalities. In this research, Google’s algorithm correctly detected undiagnosed AFib 98 percent of the time, according to the firm, which presented its findings to the American Heart Association at its recent meeting.
The FDA certified Fitbit’s Sense Smartwatch in 2020 for its capacity to detect AFib using built-in ECG technology. This approach requires active user input, whereas the PPG system, submitted to the FDA today, works in the background.
Aside from the Fitbit FDA announcement, Google releases a few additional healthcare-related features. When searching for treatment in the United States, Google Search will soon provide available appointment slots with local doctors and clinics, focusing on the CVS MinuteClinic.
“While we’re still in the early stages of rolling this feature out, we’re working with partners, including MinuteClinic at CVS and other scheduling solution providers,” Google chief health officer Dr. Karen DeSalvo said. “We hope to expand features, functionality, and our network of partners so we can make it easier for people to get the care they need.”
Google is also putting out “health source information panels” and “health content shelves” on YouTube videos in Japan, Brazil, and India this week to emphasize reputable information from good sources.