Fitbit wearables chosen for NIH precision medicine study

November 08, 2017 //By Rich Pell
Fitness wearables maker Fitbit (San Francisco, CA) has announced that it has been selected as the first wearable for use in the National Institute of Health's (NIH) "All of Us" precision medicine research program.

Established in 2015, the All of Us project seeks to enroll one million or more participants by 2020 in a long-term research effort intended to accelerate research that could help prevent and treat disease using targeted treatments and prevention strategies for the individual. Data gathered from the program will be used to learn more about how individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and biological make-up can influence health and disease.

As part of this program, the Scripps Translational Science Institute's (STSI) Participant Center - a unit tasked with enrolling and engaging diverse populations across the country - will provide up to 10,000 Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Alta HR devices to a representative sample of volunteers for a one-year study, after which researchers will recommend how the devices could be more broadly incorporated into the All of Us program. In addition, data from the study will be used to explore the relationship between health indicators such as physical activity, heart rate, and sleep, in conjunction with other critical health outcomes that will be captured as part of All of Us .

"As part of the global shift towards precision medicine, wearable data has the potential to inform highly personalized healthcare," says Adam Pellegrini, General Manager of Fitbit Health Solutions. "Through this historic initiative, we will be able to see the role that Fitbit data can play on the path to better understanding how individualization can help to prevent and treat disease."

The STSI team evaluated consumer wearables in the market and, says Fitbit, selected its devices based on a review of peer-reviewed validation studies and the fact that Fitbit devices are the most popular wearables in health research worldwide. An analysis published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal found that Fitbit devices are the most commonly used tracker in biomedical research, with more than 470 published studies having used a Fitbit device - more than any other