Sunday, July 21, 2024

Google seeks to make Fitbit heart data more accessible

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Google says a new Fitbit Web API could make device users’ AFib data more accessible to health providers. [Image courtesy of Google]

Google today announced a new Fitbit Web API to facilitate health providers’ access to their patients’ AFib data.

Many Fitbit and Pixel devices can analyze users’ heart rhythms while they’re still or sleeping. Fitbit rolled out heart-health-tracking smartwatches with AFib detection in 2022.

However, the device users previously had to export and share their Afib data separately with healthcare providers. The situation changes with the new Fitbit Web API, which enables data sharing over a secure connection with patient consent.

“Similar to the range of data, or ‘endpoints,; already available within the Fitbit Web API, these first-of-their-kind Afib endpoints don’t require healthcare partners to build their own app for data exchange. As a result, they can more easily use the data from Fitbit devices on both iOS and Android in patient care and research,” Dr. Kapil Parakh, senior medical lead at Google Health, said in a blog post.

“In practice, the availability of these new endpoints means that people can get more proactive support when it comes to their health.”

Parakh thinks the Fitbit Web API could help enable hospitals to incorporate data into a heart health program that flags patients who need to undergo appropriate testing such as event monitors and echocardiograms.  He mentioned the potential for health plans to develop population health programs for large groups of people at higher risk for developing AFib, as well as researchers being better able to use the data in studies.

“This technology has the potential to put heart health into everyone’s hands: Users can take charge of their own wellbeing, and healthcare providers gain tools to create comprehensive care programs and improve health outcomes,” Parakh said.

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