May 6, 2020
Fitbit announced this morning the launch of a new atrial fibrillation research study aiming to enroll hundreds of thousands of fitness-tracker and smartwatch owners.
Called the Fitbit Heart Study, it will passively and continuously monitor wearers' heart rates using the devices' photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors. A proprietary algorithm will interpret these readings and flag potential...
February 11, 2020
The accuracy of wearables employing photoplethysmography (PPG)-based heart rate sensors may vary significantly between specific devices and activity types, but these sensors’ performances do not appear to be significantly affected by the skin tone of the wearer, according to a new study published in NPJ Digital Medicine.
The investigation, conducted by Duke University researchers among 53...
September 12, 2019
Like a swimmer emerging from an impossibly long dive, swimming wearable maker Instabeat has resurfaced after a long, self-imposed stealth period.
Long-term industry insiders might remember the Beirut, Lebanon, company (now partly based in San Francisco) that raised more than $50,000 on Indiegogo back in 2013 for a heart rate tracker and heads-up display that attaches to a swimmer’s goggles,...
June 25, 2019
As part of the extensive Health eHeart Study, University of California, San Francisco researchers found smartphone camera-based heart rate measurements often employed by apps to strongly correlate with in-clinic results collected via ECG.
From there, the researchers employed their app-based approach to record the heart rates nearly 70,000 individuals worldwide, and paired these with health and...
Conrad Tucker, Penn State associate professor of engineering design and industrial engineering, compares VideoVitals' reading against that of a Masimo Rad-97 patient monitoring device. (Photo courtesy Penn State)
December 10, 2018
Researchers from Penn State and Johns Hopkins, backed by a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are developing technology that could read peoples' vital signs from up to four feet away using only a cellphone camera.
The team has published a detailed account of the work in the open access journal Biomedical Optics Express. But the funding from the foundation will allow the...
November 30, 2017
AliveCor has launched (and received FDA clearance for) a new ECG sensor built into an Apple Watch strap, as well as an Apple Watch app on which users can see their ECG in near real-time.
The strap, called KardiaBand, is an upgraded version of a product that launched in Europe last year. But in addition to the band, AliveCor is launching SmartRhythm, a software that continuously measures heart...
February 10, 2016
At CES this year, a smartphone-connected pregnancy test turned some heads. But it turns out that use case might not require its own device -- just a Fitbit and a clever online community. As Buzzfeed reported last week, one New York City woman found out she was pregnant after her Fitbit device displayed a mysteriously elevated heartrate, and her husband turned to online discussion site Reddit for...
January 7, 2016
Fitbit is facing yet another class action suit, this time over its heart rate monitoring, which plaintiffs claim is inaccurate to a dangerous degree.
“Plaintiffs and many consumers like them have experienced — and testing confirms — that the PurePulse trackers consistently mis-record heart rates by a very significant margin, particularly during exercise,” the suit alleges. “This failure did not...
April 20, 2015
Just a few days before the first units start shipping, Apple has posted some support documents that pull back the curtain on some of the technical details of its heart rate monitor, and also give some insight into steps Apple has taken to head off potential skin irritation issues. Apple blog 9to5Mac first spotted the two new pages.
According to the new heart rate page, Apple Watch monitors the...