Fitbit has partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance (BMS-Pfizer Alliance) to boost early detection of atrial fibrillation (AFib) in those with an increased risk of stroke.

The partners will develop educational content and guidance to support individuals at increased AFib risk.

Fitbit plans to seek the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for the AFib detection software on its devices.

Following regulatory approval, Fitbit and BMS-Pfizer Alliance intend to provide the information required to inform users’ discussions with their physicians.

Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park said: “With our continuous, 24 / 7 on-wrist health tracking capabilities, and our experience delivering personalised, engaging software and services, we believe we can develop content to help bridge the gaps that exist in atrial fibrillation detection, encouraging people to visit their doctor for a prompt diagnosis and potentially reduce their risk of stroke.”

Considered as a significant risk factor for stroke, AFib affects nearly eight million people in the US this year. The number of patients is expected to increase as the population ages.

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The condition is asymptomatic and may go undiagnosed until the individual suffers a stroke.

Bristol-Myers Squibb medical affairs head Joseph Eid said: “Too many people discover that they are suffering from atrial fibrillation only after experiencing a stroke. In fact, some studies suggest that this is true for more than 25% of people who have the condition.

“These efforts with Fitbit exemplify not only our unwavering commitment to addressing the evolving needs of patients with atrial fibrillation but also our dedication to advancing care by embracing technology as a part of routine clinical practice.”

The BMS-Pfizer Alliance partners non-profit organisations and focuses on stroke, atrial fibrillation and cardiovascular disorders.