Fitbit (NYSE: FIT) is collaborating with The Scripps Research Institute and Stanford Medicine on groundbreaking research aimed at using Fitbit data to help detect, track and contain infectious diseases like COVID-19. This new research consortium invites other institutions to join in this collective effort and share key learnings with the research community. Early detection is critical for effective public health response to infectious disease outbreaks. There already has been early evidence that wearables, like Fitbit devices, have the potential to help predict the onset of an infectious disease like the flu before symptoms start, and the goal of this consortium is to unlock similar potential via leading research institutions in response to COVID-19.
“Fitbit is proud to work with Scripps Research and Stanford, which both have a long history of cutting-edge research in the area of wearables and infectious disease detection,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. “By bringing together these and other leaders in scientific research, we hope to rapidly advance science and innovation in the fight against COVID-19 by promoting consumer participation in critical research efforts, supporting frontline healthcare workers with donated wearable devices, and sharing learnings quickly and openly across research partners.”
Advancing infectious disease wearables research
The consortium brings together research already underway by both Scripps and Stanford. The Scripps Research Translational Institute recently launched DETECT, an app-based research program that will analyze participants’ wearable health data—including heart rate, sleep and activity levels—to more quickly detect the emergence of influenza, coronavirus and other fast-spreading viral illnesses.
“From our previously published work, we know that data collected from consumer wearables can significantly improve the prediction of influenza-like illness,” said Dr. Eric Topol, Director and Founder, Scripps Research Translational Institute. “We see an enormous opportunity to enhance disease tracking for improved population health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and are pleased to join this new consortium to bring value to the research community.”
The Stanford Healthcare Innovation lab launched the COVID-19 wearables study, led by Michael Snyder, PhD, Chair of the Department of Genetics and Director of the Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The study aims to establish whether data collected from wearables, including Fitbit devices, can be used to predict the onset of an infectious disease such as COVID-19 before the actual symptoms start. Researchers are collecting data such as heart rate, skin temperature, and blood oxygen saturation, among others.
“COVID-19 has presented a daunting challenge to medical researchers around the globe,” said Snyder. “Through this consortium, we’ll coordinate efforts to improve our understanding of how technology can serve to benefit human health, and continue the pioneering work we’ve led for the past decade exploring the promise of personalized medicine to predict and prevent disease.”
Key elements of the new research consortium include:
- Research studies will run independently, but information will be aggregated and broad data access supported to promote shared learning and development
- Fitbit will support the research community by driving consumer awareness of this important research and providing its users with an easy onramp to join the effort
- Fitbit will donate wearables to both research groups to support frontline healthcare workers
- Participation in the consortium is open to additional members interested in advancing this type of research and supporting open science
Fitbit users can easily access information on how to participate in these studies through the new COVID-19 Resource tab within the Fitbit mobile app, which also features tools and content to help users stay healthy, safe, and happy at home. Users also can virtually connect with a doctor directly from the Fitbit app via telemedicine provider PlushCare and stay up to date on the latest information with easy access to real-time updates from the World Health Organization.
About Fitbit, Inc. (NYSE: FIT)
Fitbit helps people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration and guidance to reach their goals. Fitbit designs products and experiences that track and provide motivation for everyday health and fitness. Fitbit’s diverse line of innovative and popular products include Fitbit Charge 4™, Fitbit Charge 3™, Fitbit Inspire HR™, Fitbit Inspire™ and Fitbit Ace 2™ activity trackers, as well as the Fitbit Ionic™ and Fitbit Versa™ family of smartwatches, Fitbit Flyer™ wireless headphones, and Fitbit Aria family of smart scales. Fitbit products are carried in approximately 39,000 retail stores and in 100+ countries around the globe. Powered by one of the world’s largest databases of activity, exercise and sleep data and Fitbit’s leading health and fitness social network, the Fitbit platform delivers personalized experiences, insights and guidance through leading software and interactive tools, including the Fitbit and Fitbit Coach apps, and Fitbit OS for smartwatches. Fitbit’s paid subscription service, Fitbit Premium, uses your unique data to deliver actionable guidance and coaching in the Fitbit app to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Fitbit Health Solutions develops health and wellness solutions designed to help increase engagement, improve health outcomes, and drive a positive return for employers, health plans and health systems.
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Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that involve risks and uncertainties including, among other things, statements regarding the potential of our products to predict the emergence of infectious diseases, including but not limited to influenza or COVID-19. These forward-looking statements are only predictions and may differ materially from actual results due to a variety of factors, including the effects of the highly competitive market in which we operate, including competition from much larger technology companies; any inability to successfully develop and introduce new products, features, and services or enhance existing products and services; product liability issues, security breaches or other defects; the impact of the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus; and other factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in our most recent report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements contained herein are based on information available to us as of the date hereof and we do not assume any obligation to update these statements as a result of new information or future events.