Fitbit is launching a brand new life-saving feature for its devices (Image: FITBIT)
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Fitbit health trackers have just begun getting a vitally important new health feature. The Google-owned smart device maker has just rolled out a major firmware update which will alert users to signs they’re suffering from atrial fibrillation. The condition, commonly known as A-fib or AF, leads to a person experiencing an irregular or very rapid heart rhythm.
Besides causing symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, tiredness and heart palpitations, people with AF are at an increased risk of having a stroke and in extreme cases it can also lead to heart failure.
Other health trackers such as the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy smartwatches have long been able to detect signs of AF via their electrocardiogram (ECG) tools.
But what separates Fitbit’s offering is recent devices will be able to detect signs of AF passively, without the need for a corresponding app to be opened.
This vitally important health feature will be delivered via the new Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications tool.
Fitbit introduce their brand new Charge 4 device
The feature will be available first on nine recently released Fitbit devices such as the Sense and Charge 5.
As 9to5Google reported, the AF detection tool has just been rolled out by Fitbit in the US after the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the feature the all clear.
In terms of other regions, Fitbit customers will need to wait for the green light from relevant authorities in their country before it’s rolled out.
In a post online Fitbit outlined which devices will support the AF detection tool, and what software version users will need to run.
You can find a full list of the supported devices below. Explaining how the feature works, Fitbit said: “Fitbit smartwatches and trackers have optical sensors that can detect the pulse of blood that goes to your wrist with every heartbeat. The Fitbit Irregular Rhythm Notifications feature collects heart rhythm and motion data to check for signs of AFib. When you turn on the feature, your heart rhythm data are collected in the background while you are still or sleeping, and analysed for AFib when your data sync with the Fitbit app. After your consumer wrist-worn product collects enough analysable pulse rate data, we look at your beat-to-beat measurements to check for irregularities. Beat-to-beat measurements indicate how quickly one heart beat comes after the other . It’s typically measured in milliseconds (ms) and converted into beats per minute (bpm). Normally, these measurements are relatively predictable and smooth. Big increases or decreases (over 10 bpm) in a short period of time may be considered irregular.”
The Fitbit sense is one of the trackers getting the new AF feature (Image: FITBIT)
FITBIT DEVICES THAT SUPPORT ATRIAL FIBRILLATION NOTIFICATIONS
Fitbit Sense — firmware version 188.8.131.52 or higher
Fitbit Versa 3 — firmware version 184.108.40.206 or higher
Fitbit Versa 2 — firmware version 220.127.116.11 or higher
Fitbit Versa Lite — firmware version 18.104.22.168 or higher
Fitbit Charge 5 — firmware version 20001.141.4 or higher
Fitbit Luxe — firmware version 58.20001.130.17 or higher
Fitbit Charge 4 — firmware version 20001.78.33 or higher
Fitbit Charge 3 — firmware version 20001.49.45 or higher
Fitbit Inspire 2 — firmware version 20001.98.14 or higher