Fitbit unveils new smartwatch with ECG app, stress management features, skin temperature sensor and more

The company released three new products today that are available today for preorder on Fitbit’s website and will be sold worldwide in late September.
By Mallory Hackett
11:28 am
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Fitbit announced today three new wearables – the Fitbit Sense, Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Inspire 2 – to its product pipeline.

The Fitbit Sense marks the company’s first “advanced health” smartwatch, including an electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor, an electrocardiogram app, a heart rate tracker and an on-wrist skin temperature sensor with more than six days of battery life. It costs $329 and includes a free six-month trial of Fitbit Premium.

The EDA sensor measures the body’s response to stressors to help users manage their stress, according to Fitbit. To track the EDA, users place their palm over the Sense watch face to detect changes in electrical charges in the skin’s sweat level.

“The combined on-device and in-app experience with Fitbit Sense gives you insights into your body’s response to stress with tools to help you manage both your physical and mental stress,” Fitbit said in a statement.

Sense-wearers can measure their heart’s rhythm for signs of atrial fibrillation using the ECG app. This is the first device from Fitbit that includes ECG functions.

“Simply hold your fingers on the corners of the stainless steel ring around the watch while being still for 30 seconds to receive a reading that can be downloaded to share with your doctor,” Fitbit said in a statement. 

The new smartwatch continuously tracks heart rate metrics to alert users when their heart rate is too high or low. It also contains a skin-temperature sensor that can indicate to users if they might have a fever, be getting sick or are about to start their menstrual cycle.

The latest update to Fitbit’s Versa line combines features from the Versa 2 like all-day activity tracking, continuous heart rate monitoring, sleep analysis and over 20 exercise modes, and adds new ones like a built-in GPS, a speaker to take phone calls and use voice assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa. The new Fitbit Versa 3 costs $229.

Fitbit also announced the new Inspire 2, which tracks the wearer’s activity, heart rate, and sleep, and can connect to smartphones to map out runs and walks. It costs $99.95 and comes with a free one-year trial of Fitbit Premium.

All three of the new devices are available today for preorder on Fitbit’s website and will be sold worldwide in late September.

Fitbit also launched a health-coaching service for Premium members today. The virtual program connects members with a certified health professional and a personalized plan that uses metrics collected by the Fitbit device. It can help users manage their weight, control their stress or support a chronic condition.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The new launches today indicate that Fitbit will continue to advance beyond fitness tracking and into a broader health space.

“Our mission to make everyone in the world healthier has never been more important than it is today. COVID-19 has shown us all how critical it is to take care of both our physical and mental health and wellbeing,” said James Park, the cofounder and CEO of Fitbit, in a statement.

The Fitbit Sense smartwatch allows users to do more than manage their physical health.

It creates a Stress Management Score based on heart rate, sleep and activity levels. It is coupled with relaxation recommendations to help users manage their stress. It also promotes mindfulness, prompting users to reflect on their emotions, log their moods and participate in meditation sessions.

Fitbit Premium includes a Health Metrics dashboard that keeps track of breathing rate, resting heart rate, heart rate variability, skin-temperature variation and blood oxygen levels so users can track their wellness over time.

THE LARGER TREND

Fitbit has been working on adding ECG capabilities to its devices for some time now.

After competitors like Apple and Withings previously added the feature to their devices, Fitbit began a heart study in May to screen for atrial fibrillation and confirmed it was working on ECG development.

The company has also made advancements in the fight against COVID-19 with an FDA emergency use authorized ventilator, the Fitbit Flow.

It also recently released early findings from its COVID-19 early detection study. Using breathing rate, resting heart rate and heart rate variability, Fitbit says it can detect nearly 50% of COVID-19 cases one day before participants report the onset of symptoms, with 70% specificity.

ON THE RECORD

“Our new products and services are our most innovative yet, coupling our most advanced sensor technology and algorithms to unlock more information about our bodies and our health so you can be in control,” Park said in a statement. “We are breaking new ground with our wearables, helping you better understand and manage your stress and heart health, and pulling your key health metrics together in a simple and digestible way to track things like skin temperature, heart rate variability and SpO2 so you can see how it’s all connected. Most importantly, we are making health accessible, surfacing new data that you may only get once or twice a year at the doctor’s office that you can use to focus on your holistic health and wellness, at a time when it’s needed most.”

 

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