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Fitbit Researching Wrist-based BP Tracking in ‘Sense’

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Wearable brand Fitbit is investigating whether it can measure blood pressure with a new study for Sense smartwatch users.

Fitbit Sense comes with electrodermal activity (EDA) to measure daily stress and comes with a heart rate tracker, electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor and skin temperature sensors.

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According to 9To5Google, Fitbit Labs is launching a blood pressure study this month to “potentially measure” Pulse Arrival Time (PAT), or the “time it takes for a pulse of blood to reach your wrist after your heart beats”.

The company wants to “explore the potential link to tracking blood pressure” and needs a wider data set, the report said.

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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.

According to the report, Fitbit Labs also found a correlation between PAT and blood pressure in a small, three-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.

Sense owners over 20 in the US will receive a notification in the Fitbit app about this study.

If successful, the company sees easy access to blood pressure readings as potentially helpful for those with hypertension.

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