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Fitbit's ECG features have been officially approved for use in the U.S. and Europe

Fitbit Sense
Fitbit Sense (Image credit: Fitbit)

What you need to know

  • Fitbit has received regulatory approval in the U.S. and Europe for its ECG app.
  • The app takes advantage of special sensors available on the upcoming Fitbit Sense smartwatch.
  • The app will be able to help to identify conditions like Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).

Fitbit announced today via a press release (opens in new tab) that it had received official regulatory approval from agencies in the U.S. and E.U. to enable its ECG sensors and app on its upcoming Sense smartwatch. This app and accompanying sensors will potentially help Fitbit Sense wearers to identify heart conditions such as Atrial Fibrillation, or AFib.

AFib is an irregular heart rhythm condition that affects tens of millions of people around the world and can lead to more severe complications such as stroke. Often patients may not realize they have the condition until it is too late, so the hope is that devices and tools such as these can alert people to when they might need to seek medical attention.

The app does not passively detect AFib; instead, users can run a check at regular intervals or at any point during which they may be experiencing or noticing cardiac symptoms that are abnormal. The user opens the app and places their hand over the watch face. This completes a circuit with the sensors below the watch, which allows the app to check for AFib.

The ECG app and sensors can be found on Fitbit's upcoming Sense holistic health smartwatch, which is available for pre-order now, and up for regular order at the end of September. The watch is expected to ship to customers sometime in October, which is right on schedule for when the ECG app and sensors are set to be enabled. The feature is not available on any of Fitbit's current smartwatches or werables, but it could potentially come to other models in the future.

This regulatory approval means that Fitbit Sense wearers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweeden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Belgium, Portugal, Romania, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and France will have access to the ECG app, in addition to customers in Hong Kong and India.

Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.

3 Comments
  • EEG and ECG are not interchangeable. The article should be about the ECG (electrocardiogram) and not using the abbreviation EEG (electroencephalogram), which used to detect seizures. I would recommend correcting that.
  • Thank you for pointing that out! The error has been corrected.
  • I'd love to get this for my father who's in his 70's and has to monitor his danger of qoing into A-Fib. However there's no way he'd swap out his Rolex (which was handed down from his father) for something so millenial in design. Nice concept. But the feature is really more for the elderly demographic, and chances are the elderly wouldn't swap out their family favorite watch for a watch designed for the millenial generation.