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FitBit Switches Its Focus on Sleep apnea after Pulse Ox roll out

FitBit has been steadily rolling out Pulse Ox functionality in last few weeks and as the roll out carries on, FitBit has switched its focus towards tracking and diagnosing sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea is a costly and cumbersome condition to diagnose. In this condition, the patient suffers from periods of difficulty in breathing in the course of his or her sleep. More than 22 million people in United States suffer from this condition.

Versa, Charge 3 and Ionic all have SpO2 technology. This technology is used to measure level of oxygen in the stream of blood. This provides very useful information regarding the flow of oxygen from lungs to other parts of the body. A healthy individual must have more than 97% oxygen level at all times and if this count falls below 92% frequently, then the individual must see a doctor immediately.

Only raw values are being displayed to the users for now but this all is expected to change soon as FItBit is working on detecting Sleep Apnea using the data provided by SpO2 sensors and the users can expect to see the update anytime in near future.

“Fitbit is continuing to collect clinical data to test and develop FDA-cleared features for sleep apnea,” a Fitbit spokesperson told Gizmodo. “They expect to submit for FDA clearance soon and are maintaining a dialogue with the FDA throughout this process.”

This ensures that FitBit are very close to getting permission from the regulators in United States to monitor sleep apnea. This would make them the first smartwatch / fitness band manufacturer of this scale to get approval for tracking the condition. Withings has also shown interest in this field as well. ScanWatch was launched at CES 2020 by them in January which had ECG and SpO2 support. The company is focusing on detecting conditions related to heart and sleep that remain underdiagnosed.

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