12 January 2018
Fitbit has announced that it has been selected as the first wearable for use in the national All of Us Research Program that was established by the White House in 2015 under the name Precision Medicine Initiative. This project aims at learning more about how individuals differences in lifestyle can impact the health and disease.
The Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) that acts as a subset of All of US Research Program is engaged in enrolling researchers for this project. STSI will provide up to 10,000 Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Alta HR devices to the volunteers for a one-year study. At the end of this study, the researchers will provide recommendations on how the devices could be more broadly incorporated into the All of US Research Program.
STSI selected Fitbit based on the facts that its devices are the most popular wearables in health research worldwide.
According to Eric Topol, Founder, and Director of STSI,
“The Fitbit devices selected track a combination of physical activity, sleep, and heart rate parameters.The popularity of Fitbit devices among millions of Americans, combined with their ease of use, including multi-day battery life and broad compatibility with smartphones, made Fitbit a natural choice for this pilot program.”
Adam Pellegrini, Fitbit’s health solutions general manager, told TechCrunch it is using the devices in order to gain lifestyle information.
“Sleep, heart rate information, physical activity, those are all essential elements,” he said. “We will be able to give a real sample of energy levels, how people are sleeping, their walking — those type of things. We’re getting that information as people live their normal lives.”
Another reason for selecting Fitbit devices is that more than 480 published studies have utilized a Fitbit device.
Fitbit devices are selected by a government program for conducting a health study.