“We’re in a new era of healthcare, where we’re not only focused on developing treatments but also looking at the potential of technology and data to help patients learn more about their health,” said Angela Hwang, group president, Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group. “We are excited about wearables and how our work with BMS and Fitbit may potentially help patients and physicians detect and understand heart rhythm irregularities.”
AFib is the most common type of irregular heartbeat and is a significant risk factor for stroke.1,2 Approximately 8 million people in the United States are projected to be affected by AFib in 2019.3 As the U.S. population ages, this number is expected to rise, as adults aged 65 and older are at an increased risk of developing the condition.3 Because AFib can be asymptomatic, it can often go undetected, and some studies suggest that more than 25 percent of people who have the condition find out after they have a stroke.1,4
“At Fitbit, we’re focused on making health more accessible and, through our efforts with the BMS-Pfizer Alliance, we have the potential to support earlier detection of atrial fibrillation, a potentially asymptomatic condition that affects millions of Americans,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. “With our continuous, 24/7 on-wrist health tracking capabilities, and our experience delivering personalized, 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.”
Wearable technology has continued to become more integrated in the healthcare landscape5 as people have recognized the value that 24/7 health tracking can have for people of any age or health status, including those at increased risk for specific conditions. Yet, those who use wearables to track their heart rhythm may lack the education or guidance on what to do with the data gathered from their device.6
“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 percent of people who have the condition,” said Joseph Eid, M.D., head of Medical Affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “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 Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer Alliance is committed to driving education and awareness about atrial fibrillation and venous thromboembolism. With long-standing cardiovascular leadership, global scale and expertise in this field, the Alliance strives to implement global, research-driven approaches to illuminate and address the unmet needs around strokes related to non-valvular atrial fibrillation, which are often fatal or debilitating.7 Through collaborations with non-profit organizations, the Alliance aims to provide patients, physicians, and decision makers with the information they need to understand and take appropriate action on risk factors associated with stroke and other cardiovascular conditions.
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.
Pfizer applies science and global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of modern times. The company collaborates with healthcare providers, governments, and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world.
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 line of products include 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 more than 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 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.
Fitbit and the Fitbit logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fitbit, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries.
1 CDC. Atrial Fibrillation Fact Sheet. Accessed March 2019. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_atrial_fibrillation.htm.
2 Cleveland Clinic. Know Your Risk Factors for Stroke. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/13398-know-your-risk-factors-for-stroke. Accessed August 28, 2019
3 Colilla S, Crow A, Petkun W, Singer DE, Simon T, Liu X. Estimates of Current and Future Incidence and Prevalence of Atrial Fibrillation in the U.S. Adult Population. American Journal of Cardiology. 2013;112:1142-1147
4 Freedman B, Potpara TS, Lip GY. Stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation. Lancet. 2016;388:806–817
5 Cheung CC, Krahn AD, Andrade JG. The Emerging Role of Wearable Technologies in Detection of Arrhythmia. Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 2018;34:1083-1087.
6 Knowles B, Smith A, Poursabzi-Sangdeh F, Lu D, Alabi H. Attending to the Problem of Uncertainty in Current and Future Health Wearables. Communications of the ACM. 2018:1-6.
7 Ben Freedman, Tatjana S. Potpara, and Gregory Y H Lip, "Stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation," The Lancet 388, no. 10046 (2016): , doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(16)31257-0.