Fitbit's newest technology offers deep sleep tracking

Dive Brief:

  • Fitbit is offering new technology on some of its devices to help people track and understand their sleep patterns.
  • Available this spring, Sleep Stages tracks changes in heart rate to estimate the time people spend in light, deep and REM sleep, the company said Monday.
  • The wearables technology maker is also introducing an updated version of its Alta tracker, Alta HR, which will work with Sleep Stages. Fitbit has been facing declining sales in the U.S. where many people already have fitness trackers and could get a boost from the new technology, Modern Healthcare reported.

Dive Insight:

Tracking sleep patterns could help people identify issues like sleep apnea or why they’re unable to maintain a healthy weight or are chronically tired. Along with tracking sleep, the technology offers insights on what a person's sleep patterns suggest about their health.  

Sleep Stages could give Fitbit an edge over similar devices. The Apple Watch, which competes with Fitbit, doesn’t track sleep as it requires nightly recharging. And while other fitness trackers do track Zs, that is often a minor focus of what they do.

Fitbit plans to roll out the technology this spring. It will work with the company’s Alta HR, Blaze and Charge 2 devices via the Fitbit app on Android, iOS and Windows and on in the online dashboard.

The new Alta HR offers continuous heart rate tracking, seven-day battery life and smart notifications. It will be available starting in April for about $150 at retailers such as, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohl’s, Macy’s and REI. It can also be used with Fitbit’s new advanced sleep tracking tools.

Fitbit has been working to further integrate into healthcare systems and clinical settings and to expand its role in disease management, insurance and wellness programs. Last year, it the company wooed Adam Pellegrini away from Walgreens, where he headed up digital health, to lead that effort.

Filed Under: Health IT
Top image credit: Flickr user US CPSC