New Fitbit Labs Examine: Can Measuring Pulse Arrival Time at the Wrist Track Blood Strain?


Hypertension is known as a silent killer for a purpose.¹ Signs are not often apparent however uncontrolled hypertension can enhance the threat for coronary heart illness and stroke, two main causes of loss of life for individuals in the United States.² Almost one out of two adults in the U.S. has hypertension, however many don’t know they’ve it.³/⁴

Checking your blood strain isn’t all the time simple, particularly if individuals don’t have a blood strain cuff at residence and solely go to the physician’s workplace a couple of times a 12 months. And since blood strain can fluctuate for quite a lot of causes, ideally individuals have to repeat this course of at the identical time over a interval of months. So, how can we make it simpler for individuals to watch their blood strain?

Investigating Pulse Arrival Time at the Wrist 

Beginning this month, Fitbit Labs is launching a examine to look at how Fitbit units can doubtlessly measure one thing referred to as Pulse Arrival Time (PAT), which is the time it takes for a pulse of blood to achieve your wrist after your coronary heart beats, and discover the potential hyperlink to monitoring blood strain.⁵  

Whereas the potential to simply measure and monitor blood strain in a wearable, non-cuff utility has been of nice curiosity, it has been fairly elusive thus far, and the potential to seize blood strain readings in a non-cuff wrist-wearable has not but been achieved.

Earlier analysis has discovered a correlation between PAT and blood strain, however the correlation was not robust sufficient to foretell blood strain. These investigations had been restricted to both small information units or particular environments like an intensive care unit. Fitbit Labs additionally discovered a correlation between PAT and blood strain in a small, 3-week inner examine. The brand new examine will lengthen this work to a broader inhabitants with the intention to study extra about how PAT measurements change beneath quite a lot of situations.

“If hypertension was simpler to measure, individuals may handle it earlier, which could assist keep away from preventable deaths from coronary heart illness and stroke,” stated Shelten Yuen, Principal Scientist at Fitbit, who’s main this work “It’s a tough scientific problem, and loads of work stays to be executed to grasp the finest approach to do that, however we’ve a historical past of advancing expertise to make beforehand inaccessible well being metrics accessible to Fitbit customers from their wrist, so it’s a problem we’re very enthusiastic about fixing.”

Having quick access to blood strain readings is vital for individuals with hypertension, so, assuming we will correlate PAT and blood strain, having the ability to monitor PAT with a Fitbit gadget would possibly give individuals extra energy to handle their situation in between medical doctors visits. 

How one can Take part

Fitbit Sense customers in the U.S. who’re at least 20 years outdated, will obtain a notification on their app if they’re eligible to take part in the month-long examine. Range in our analysis is important, so we encourage eligible Sense customers throughout all demographics to enroll.

Advancing the Way forward for WearablesFitbit’s mission has all the time been to make everybody in the world more healthy by making well being extra accessible. Fitbit pioneered the 10,000 steps phenomenon, and since then has launched many different improvements, together with coronary heart charge monitoring on the wrist with our Pure Pulse expertise, which has continued to advance over the years. With the Fitbit ECG App,⁶ we’re assessing customers’ coronary heart rhythms for indicators of AFib, an irregular coronary heart rhythm which will increase the threat of significant coronary heart situations like stroke. These improvements — in addition to our latest and most superior sensors — usually are not solely the basis for a lot of vital well being options, in addition they may be used to discover novel applied sciences, like measuring PAT on this new examine.


¹ https://www.coronary heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/why-high-blood-pressure-is-a-silent-killer

² https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/index.htm

³ https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/details.htm

⁴https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/5_surprising_facts.htm#:~:textual content=3.,don’t%20have%20any%20signs

⁵ Please notice: Pulse Arrival Time readings are meant for analysis functions solely and shall be used for future product improvement. These readings shouldn’t be interpreted as conveying vital well being info and shouldn’t be used or relied on for any medical functions.

⁶ The Fitbit EGG App is simply accessible in choose international locations; not meant to be used by individuals beneath 22 years outdated. See fitbit.com/ecg for added particulars.



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