The first result was a large-scale study of a new algorithm designed to detect abnormal heart rate using data from smartphones and fitness monitors. With nearly half a million cases, at least 98% of cases found atrial fibrillation successfully.

Abnormal gaps between the heartbeat may be the first sign of coronary heart disease. Symptoms of severe vascular fibrillation may be seen as symptoms of heart failure, but short sections may be asymptomatic.

The advent of wearable medical devices provides new ways to detect unusual heartbeat symptoms, but researchers are still developing technology to increase the accuracy and reliability. A big Stanford study in 2019 Apple watches have proven their ability to detect arterial fibrillation, and FitBit is now slightly ahead of its own study of Apple products.

The study, conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), employs about 455,000 fitness users in the United States. Once enabled, the fictional algorithm monitors the user’s heart rate during inactivity. Arterial fibrillation can occur after an irregular heartbeat for at least 30 minutes.

In the study, when vascular fibrillation was detected as much as possible, the subject received a one-week electrocardiogram (ECG) patch with a follow-up telephone consultation with a physician. The following week, the new algorithm effectively removed 98% of the components found in the ECG patch.

“These results show that wearers are more reliably able to detect atrial fibrillation,” said Steven Lubitz, a MGH researcher working on the project. Because many consumers use wearables, algorithms such as the one we have studied can be widely used to help identify atrial fibrillation before serious complications such as stroke.

Lubitz indicates that heart rate monitoring software is most effective when used at night. So the goal is to wear a fitness tracker during sleep when you can better control your irregular heartbeat.

“Most of the unknown atrial fibrillation occurred during sleep and we suspect these parts have no symptoms,” Lubitz said. “The algorithm is the most active.

Fitbit is currently working with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to license the algorithm.

Source: American Heart Association