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Increased accessibility to cardiac information for medical collaborators

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As a heart specialist, the cardiac muscle amazes me. It’s the toughest-working muscle in the body, pumping approximately 2,000 gallons of blood and pulsating around 100,000 times per day. However, there are moments when it transitions into an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation (Afib), a condition impacting more than 59 million individuals worldwide and magnifying the risk of stroke by five times.

Advancements in Technology

With modern technology, it is now simpler to monitor signs of Afib in daily life. Numerous Fitbit and Pixel devices can evaluate your heart rhythm during rest or sleep. Through features like Irregular Rhythm Notifications (IRN), these devices can alert you upon detecting an irregular pattern. Presently, nearly 10 million people globally have opted for the Irregular Rhythm Notifications feature.

Prior to these advancements, individuals had to independently export and share their Afib data with medical professionals. With consent, healthcare collaborators such as physicians, nurses, and health scientists can now retrieve your Afib data through a secure connection using the Fitbit Web API.

Proactive Healthcare

Similar to the array of data available within the Fitbit Web API, the newly introduced Afib endpoints eliminate the necessity for healthcare partners to develop their own application for data exchange. Consequently, they can easily leverage Fitbit device data on both iOS and Android platforms for patient care and research.

From a practical standpoint, the availability of these new endpoints means individuals can receive more proactive support for their health. This can include:

  • A medical facility incorporating this data into a cardiac health initiative. Upon receiving an Irregular Rhythm Notification, the facility can arrange appropriate tests like event monitors and echocardiograms for diagnosis and identification of underlying conditions.
  • A healthcare plan devising a population health program for sizable groups of individuals at Afib risk. This aids in early detection, treatment, and enhanced risk assessment to mitigate stroke occurrences. An independent study in JAMA determined this method to be cost-effective, especially with devices priced at $150 or less.
  • Researchers integrating this data into studies to facilitate understanding the effect of Irregular Rhythm Notifications on outcomes.

This technological innovation has the potential to democratize heart health: Users can take control of their well-being, while healthcare professionals acquire resources to establish comprehensive care schemes and enhance health results.

If you are a patient or part of a healthcare institution utilizing the new IRN endpoints, be on the lookout for notifications within your Fitbit app prompting you to share your data.

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