HomeScienceFitbit files patent for blood pressure using force-sensitive display

Fitbit files patent for blood pressure using force-sensitive display

Fitbit not too long ago filed a patent utility (pdf) for a force-sensitive show that might allow blood stress readings on wearables. However even when patents did assure success — which they don’t — the previous few months make it onerous to be assured in the way forward for Fitbit smartwatches.

First issues first, you shouldn’t learn too onerous into any patent submitting. Whereas it may give you a way of what an organization’s engaged on, it’s a authorized device for corporations to successfully name dibs on a specific innovation. Within the claims part of this submitting (by way of Wareable), Fitbit outlines a force-sensitive display screen mixed with a photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor that, when pressed, can estimate your blood stress.

What’s neat about this idea is that it’s basically riffing on the standard blood stress cuff. These work by reducing off blood movement in an artery. That stress is then slowly relieved, which helps docs work out when blood movement begins up once more (systolic studying) and when your coronary heart relaxes once more (diastolic studying). Excessive numbers could be a signal your coronary heart is working too onerous to pump blood by means of your physique.

Fitbit’s patent proposes a force-sensitive panel that, when pressed, might set off a blood stress studying.
Picture: WIPO IP Portal

It’s not significantly shocking that blood stress could be on Fitbit’s radar. It’s removed from the primary wearable to incorporate this function. Samsung’s had it on its Galaxy Watches for fairly a while, although it makes use of a unique mechanism that requires periodic calibration to a standard cuff and is unavailable within the US for regulatory causes. There’s additionally the Omron Coronary heart Information — an FDA-cleared smartwatch the place the strap doubles as an inflatable cuff.

Nonetheless, there’s new momentum for cuffless, noninvasive blood stress wearables that use PPG sensors. Valencell, which develops biometric sensor tech, confirmed up at CES 2023 with a cuffless and calibration-less fingertip blood stress monitor. Final yr, Movano Well being — which additionally confirmed up at CES with a wise ring — introduced it accomplished useful testing for a radio frequency-enabled chip that might doubtlessly measure each blood stress and blood glucose in wearables.

Fitbit’s patent is cool, however its previous few months have been lackluster. Its newest smartwatches, the Sense 2 and Versa 4, took a again seat to Google’s Pixel Watch. Plus, options obtainable on earlier iterations of the watches — like third-party apps and Google Assistant — vanished. Google additionally rebranded the corporate as “Fitbit by Google” and not too long ago introduced that in a number of years, Fitbit customers should log in utilizing their Google accounts. Simply this week, Fitbit skilled a number of server outages that left customers annoyed and indignant. Altogether, it doesn’t paint a fairly image.

That’s why it’s onerous to have a look at this sort of patent submitting as an thrilling improvement. If granted, it’s extra more likely to seem in a Pixel Watch than any Fitbit by Google product. And that’s if this function even sees the sunshine of day any time quickly. Whereas know-how strikes quick, well being tech positive as hell doesn’t. Wearable tech corporations often veer towards “wellness” options as a result of they don’t require regulatory oversight from the FDA. Blood stress, nevertheless, would possible necessitate the FDA’s involvement.

At greatest, this submitting is simply additional proof that noninvasive blood stress tech is one thing that wearable corporations deeply care about. However when and in what kind is not possible to foretell. It’s additionally a reminder that whereas dreaming up life-changing well being tech is simple, it’s a lot more durable to make it a actuality. By the point we see widespread wearable blood stress tech, Fitbit would possibly already be a distant reminiscence.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments