Tuesday, April 20

Your Fitbit smartwatch could take your blood pressure one day

Making blood pressure measurement more common is Fitbit’s idea. While its most advanced watches are currently capable of measuring heart rate, blood oxygen saturation and body temperature with some precision, the brand is now considering keeping an eye on our blood pressure.

Fitbit Sense

Fitbit is working on a system that would allow its next watch to calculate blood pressure for long-term monitoring // Gamesdone: Arnaud Gelineau – Frandroid

Is it relevant to measure blood pressure more frequently and can it be done efficiently with a connected watch. In a blog post published this April 7, Fitbit wonders and suggests the introduction of this possible novelty on its watches. The central idea? Allow users to obtain more precise long-term monitoring than just one-off blood pressure readings during doctor visits.

This closer monitoring would be very useful according to Fitbit, who points out that in the United States one in two adults suffers from hypertension … often without knowing it. In France, according to the Foundation for Medical Research, a third of the adult population is affected, or 10 to 15 million people.

Fighting against the “silent killer” of hypertension

« It’s not for nothing that high blood pressure is considered a silent killer. Symptoms are rarely obvious, but uncontrolled high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.“, Says Fitbit.

It is in this context that the brand, recently acquired by Google, will launch a large-scale study to find out whether the pulse arrival time (PAT or Pulse Arrival Time in English) allows you to efficiently estimate blood pressure. This data is described by Fitbit as “the time it takes for a pulse of blood to reach your wrist after a heartbeat ».

A study launched

In this case, US Fitbit Sense holders (photo illustration) over the age of 20 will be notified. They will then be able to choose whether or not to participate in the study. This study, which Fitbit hopes to be able to conduct with as many as “demographic categories“, Should allow, according to the manufacturer, to complete the too fragmented research that has been carried out so far on the effectiveness of measures based on the arrival time of the pulse.

« Previous research has found a correlation between PAT and blood pressure, but this correlation was not strong enough to predict blood pressure », note ainsi Fitbit. «New study will expand this work to a wider population to learn more about how measures of PAT evolve under various conditions ».

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