Fitbit has opened up a potentially life-saving fitness tracker feature to many more Fitbit owners: irregular heart rhythm notifications (IHR). This feature was initially only announced for US users but has now been confirmed for a stack of other territories, including the UK, Ireland, Germany and France.
Why is it so important? An irregular heart rhythm can be a sign of an underlying health issue that should be checked out by a medical professional. The concept of tracking such things entered the wearable world with ECG hardware, which passes a weak electrical signal through your body to analyse sinus rhythm.
However, this Fitbit feature is a little different as it uses the classic optical heart rate sensor hardware on the back of the watch, not the ECG tech — which requires you to place a thumb and forefinger on the watch bezel.
And while ECG is only available on a few Fitbit watches like the Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Charge 5 – here is our guide to the best Fitbits – many more watches support IHR notifications. Fitbit’s irregular heart rhythm notifications are based on data harvested as you sleep and don’t involve taping your fingers to the watch bezel overnight, thankfully. If your watch spots something abnormal, you’ll see a pop-up the next morning.
The opening up of these notifications follows Fitbit acquiring a CE Mark for the feature, which is the European equivalent of the US’s FDA clearance. Want to know if your Fitbit tracker is on the invite list? Earlier this year, when irregular heart rhythm notifications were announced, Fitbit confirmed they would be available in the following trackers:
- Fitbit Charge 3
- Fitbit Charge 4
- Fitbit Charge 5
- Fitbit Inspire 2
- Fitbit Luxe
- Fitbit Sense
- Fitbit Versa Lite
- Fitbit Versa 2
- Fitbit Versa 3
They will also be supported by, unsurprisingly, the Fitbit Sense 2, Versa 4, and Inspire 3 watches the company just unveiled. To get started, make sure your tracker is updated to the latest firmware and go to the Assessment section of the Fitbit app to turn the notifications on. Don’t live in one of the countries we’ve already listed? Here are the supported spots according to Fitbit’s website (opens in new tab).
If you’re tempted to go for a Fitbit upgrade, the Versa 4 and Sense 2 are scheduled to start shipping in the US on September 23 and a week later in the UK.
[via 9to5Google (opens in new tab)]