A highlight of the Apple Watch is the ability to tell if the wearer has a heart problem called atrial fibrillation, and rival wearable-maker Fitbit is working to add AFib detection to its smart watches.
The company teamed up with BMS-Pfizer Alliance — a collaboration of drug-makers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer — on developing this tech.
“At Fitbit, we’re focused on making health more accessible and, through our efforts with the BMS-Pfizer Alliance, we have the potential to support earlier detection of atrial fibrillation, a potentially asymptomatic condition that affects millions of Americans,” said James Park, Co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.
AFib is the most common type of irregular heartbeat and is a significant risk factor for stroke. But it often has no symptoms. That’s why wearable methods of detecting this problem can help save lives.
Apple Watch vs. Fitbit
After last year’s Apple Watch Series 4 debuted with a built-in ECG (electrocardiogram), reports poured in of people being diagnosed with AFib who’d been utterly unaware of any heart problems.
It’s an example of Apple being at the forefront of smart watch innovation. And one of the reasons why Apple Watch is expected to hold the lead in this category for years to come.
Fitbit, on the other hand, is struggling to compete, with sales of its smart watches not living up to expectations.