Fitbit for Remote Patient Monitoring scheduled
for availability in October 2022
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is becoming more popular every day as people become more and more interested in tracking their health and fitness. One of the most popular devices for daily fitness tracking is the Google Fitbit. Remote Care Partners (RCP) announced that Fitbit would be available for patients through RCP's RPM platform. Availability is planned for October of 2022.
This is a huge development for RPM, as Fitbit is one of the most popular fitness trackers on the market. With this partnership, RCP expands its reach to include even more patients who want to monitor their health and fitness and look for ways to live healthier lives. This move also underscores the importance of RPM in today's healthcare landscape.
In interviews with physicians, as well as current and prospective patients adding data from a wearable has generated strong interest. RCP believes this helps position our combined service offerings as “Digital Health” and counters the presumption that RPM and CCM are only for extremely sick patients.
The Future of Wearables and Continuous Monitoring Technology at RCP
RCP is also working on multiple other initiatives around wearable/continuous technology. Continuous glucose meters are a strong area of interest, and we are testing models now.
Patient Benefits of Using a Fitbit for RPM
Patients can use Fitbits not only to improve their own health, but also to help their doctors remotely monitor their condition and progress. In this initial release, measurements from the Fitbit of heart rate, sleep quality, and general activity level will be captured and sent to the RCP Platform.
Provider Benefits of Using a Fitbit for RPM
In addition to the benefits that patients will experience, providers will also be able to take advantage of the data collected by Fitbits to improve care coordination and quality. This will allow for more targeted and individualized care plans, as well as better disease management. Additionally, because the Fitbit data is integrated into the RPC Platform, providers will have access to a complete picture of their patients’ health, including other data sources such as EHRs, labs, and claims.
Use of the Fitbit will also help patients achieve the required number of readings for maximum reimbursement by CMS for RPM programs.
Is Fitbit approved by the FDA?
Fitbit is currently approved by the FDA as a Class II medical device.
Fitbit has also received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for an algorithm that can identify atrial fibrillation (AFib).
"Our new PPG AFib algorithm can passively assess your heart rhythm in the background while you’re still or asleep. If there’s anything that might be suggestive of AFib, you’ll be notified through our Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications feature," Fitbit says in a blog post
Fitbit already offers an ECG app, but that requires people to proactively screen themselves for possible AFib. Fitbit’s new photoplethysmography (PPG) optical heart-rate sensor, on the other hand, works continuously to potentially "identify asymptomatic AFib that could otherwise go undetected," Fitbit says.
"Because AFib can be so sporadic, the optimal way to screen for it is through heart rate tracking technology when the body is still or at rest — making overnight detection when people are asleep especially important," the company adds. "The unique capabilities of Fitbit devices — especially its 24/7 heart rate tracking and long battery life — give it the potential to accelerate identification through long-term heart rhythm assessment."
Fitbit PPG detections correctly identified AFib episodes 98% of the time, the company says.