Fitbit is reputed for its fitness products. It has many products such as activity trackers and wireless-enabled wearable technology devices that measure data such as the number of steps walked, heart rate, quality of sleep, steps climbed, and other personal metrics involved in fitness. People are interested to know if they have any technology to track blood pressure. If you’re like most people, you probably think of Fitbit as a way to track your blood pressure.
Before we talk about the Fitbit blood pressure monitor, let’s know about blood pressure and blood pressure monitor first.
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What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood.
How to track blood pressure?
There are many ways to track blood pressure. The most common way is to use a blood pressure cuff. This is a device that you wrap around your arm. The cuff squeezes your arm and measures how much your blood pressure has increased.
Smartwatch manufacturers are working to create a method of monitoring blood pressure based on the heart rate sensor and ECG sensor. It is called PTT(Pulse Transit Time) technology. As they are not using the cuff method, now the question arises about the ability of a smartwatch to track blood pressure correctly.
Can smartwatches track blood pressure?
Smartwatch estimates blood pressure based on PTT (Pulse Transit Time) technology. But they are not accurate enough to rely on. There are many doubts about the accuracy of a wrist blood pressure device as there is no way to estimate high fluid levels in our body with a wrist device as we do with a regular upper arm cuff style.
How accurate are smartwatches to track blood pressure?
In another post, we covered the topic in detail. Please check the Smart Watch Blood Pressure Accuracy post. The accuracy can vary up to 20%, which is not enough to accept in medical science. So we can say wrist-based technology is not reliable to track blood pressure. Our upper arm may give more accurate measurements than wrist-based devices.
You will need an inflatable cuff placed around the upper arm to take your blood pressure. The device itself is not suitable for this purpose as it does not have enough force to overcome human skin and provide sufficient readings on its own.
Does Fitbit track blood pressure?
At the moment, Fitbit devices don’t measure blood pressure. But according to their recent blog post, they plan to release a new product that tracks blood pressure. This product is still in development and has not been released yet. They are also working on other products that measure different health metrics. We will have to wait and see if this product is released and if it is accurate.
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Fitbit is launching a study to explore the potential link between their devices and measuring blood pressure. The data collected will help them better understand how people’s lives can be improved through increased awareness about health issues like diabetes or high cholesterol, as well as provide insight on what type of information should best suit each user, so they’re more likely to use it regularly.
The Fitbit is a few steps further back in the process – it doesn’t have any blood pressure features available but has an ongoing handful of studies underway looking at how metrics collected by their devices are related to a person’s hypertension. They’re focusing on one measure called Pulse Arrival Time which resembles Samsung’s transit time metric yet measures pulses slightly differently from what they do.
Previous research has found a correlation between PAT and blood pressure, but the correlation was not strong enough to predict blood pressure. These investigations were limited to either small data sets or specific environments like an intensive care unit. Fitbit Labs also found a correlation between PAT and blood pressure in a small, 3-week internal study. The new study will extend this work to a broader population to learn more about how PAT measurements change under various conditions.
Smartwatch manufacturers are still trying to improve the accuracy of their devices to track blood pressure. At the moment, they are not accurate enough to rely on. If you need to track your blood pressure, we recommend using a traditional upper arm cuff device to measure your blood pressure.