When you think of a Fitbit, you think of cutting-edge smart wearable technology. If that’s the case, you aren’t wrong. Well, in most cases, that is. With the advent of fitness tracking reaching new extremes, proprietary features such as blood pressure monitoring have turned into highly sought-after commodities.
This begs the question, does a Fitbit Monitor Blood Pressure? And if so, how?
Does A Fitbit Monitor Blood Pressure?
As of writing this, no Fitbit products including the Sense and the Charge 5 are not able to monitor blood pressure. While they do have some wandy warnings that alert you in regards to suffering from a condition that may stem from high blood pressure, they do not have the capabilities to be able to tell you your blood pressure as of yet.
Why Does Fitbit Not Monitor Blood Pressure?
If you’ve taken a look at modern smartwatches, you’ll notice that some of them – like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 allow you to measure your blood pressure. While they aren’t independent in nature, you still are able to get a reading of your blood pressure when calibrating with a sphygmomanometer.
However, a Fitbit, on the other hand, while having the necessary tools to be able to do so, still does not let you measure your blood pressure even through a calibrated process. While recent studies conducted by the company have allowed some users to measure their blood pressure, it has still not been rolled out to the public.
There are a few particular reasons why Fitbit has still not implemented blood pressure measurement on their devices:
- FDA Clearance: When it comes to medical readings, a device needs to be extremely accurate for it to be cleared by the FDA. As of yet, Fitbit’s methodologies have still not gone to the point where they can be considered as medically accurate
- Technological Hindrance: According to the aforementioned blog post, Fitbit is using pulse-arrival-time-intervals in order to try and get a BP reading. As of yet, it is still unclear as to whether pulse arrival time is as accurate as conventional methods.
When Will Blood Pressure Measurement Be Released On Fitbit?
As of yet, the company has not provided us with any timeline. However, there are two distinct possibilities that might bring out blood pressure monitoring in the future for the Fitbit.
- Previous Devices: As of yet, the Fitbit Charge 5 and Fitbit Sense are the only two devices that are sophisticated enough to be able to measure pulse arrivals. If just like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, Fitbit is able to accurately determine someone’s blood pressure through it, we can expect the feature to be rolling out soon.
- New Devices: If pulse arrival time does not seem to be Fitbit’s thing, then, we can expect the brand to implement a completely different way of measuring blood pressure. Here’s what we can expect:
- Advanced Bio-Sensor: Just like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4’s implementation of a BioActive sensor that is able to accurately measure your blood pressure after calibration, it is possible that a newer Fitbit product might follow the same path.
- Conventional Method: Some watches, such as the ones we have covered earlier, some bulkier smartwatches end up constricting your wrist physically in order to provide you with an accurate reading. So, while a relatively bulky option, Fitbit might just going for the conventional method in order to implement blood pressure measurement.
With that said, with Samsung now bringing out blood pressure measurement – we can anticipate that Fitbit will end up bringing up this feature sooner rather than later.
Why Is Blood Pressure Monitoring On Smartwatches So Hard?
Aptly said by Fitbit’s Principle Scientist, Shelten Yuen, “If high blood pressure was easier to measure, It’s a hard scientific challenge, and a lot of work remains to be done to understand the best way to do this.”
Therefore, it’s quite clear that the intricacies behind measuring blood pressure seem quite simple, but they are far from that. But, with this statement from 2021, it is clear that Fitbit has spent a considerable amount of time and resources to try and find a workable way to do so.
However, as of yet, all their efforts seem to have gone in vain. Will we end up getting a Fitbit product that ends up measuring blood pressure this year? Only time will tell.
I bought my first smartwatch in 2018 and have been wearing one ever since. It might get frustrating at times to receive 100 notifications a day. That's why we need to know how to make the best of them and how to use them to improve our daily lives, not the other way around. I write about the newest smartwatches, I create top picks, and I write helpful guides and simply explain complicated things.