Fitbit and NIH Launch Digital Health Tech Initiative for All of Us Program

Samara Rosenfeld
JANUARY 16, 2019
fitbit, data, wearable tech

Fitbit and the National Institutes of Health announced today the launch of the Fitbit Bring-Your-Own-Device project as the first digital health technology initiative for the All of Us research program.
 
Current Fitbit users enrolled in the program can choose to sync their accounts to help researchers unlock more information on the relationships between health indicators like physical activity, heart rate, sleep and health outcomes.
 
Syncing the data with All of Us will give consumers a chance to contribute to what is being called one of the world’s largest precision medicine studies and help build one of the most diverse data sets for scientific research.
 
>> READ: Fitbit Update Doubles Down on Health Data

“This information in combination with many other data types will give us an unprecedented ability to better understand the impact of lifestyle and environment on health outcomes and, ultimately, develop better strategies for keeping people healthy in a very precise, individualized way,” said Eric Dishman, director of the All of Us research program.
 
The All of Us program, which was launched nationally in May 2018, has a goal of improving the ability to prevent and treat disease based on differences in lifestyle, environment and genetics.
 
Participants can share different types of health information through surveys, electronic health records, physical measurements and digital health technologies, like Fitbit data.
 
Researchers will then have access to the data to conduct a wide range of studies. Digital technology allows researchers to collect real-world, real-time data, which will be a fundamental part of the program, according to Dishman.
 
Scripps Research is leading the All of Us program’s digital health effort and selected Fitbit as the first wearable for use in the program due to its popularity and credibility in validated clinical research. Fitbit has appeared in more than 675 published studies.
 
“Every day we learn more about the potential for wearable data to inform personalized healthcare and through All of Us, the research community will gain an even better understanding of the role wearable data can play in helping to prevent and treat disease,” said Adam Pellegrini, general manager of Fitbit Health Solutions.  
 
Fitbit users can use their device to sync their health data with the program, though a device is not required. All of Us participants can connect their data through their Fitbit account and manually add information such as their weight, water intake and meals.

Another All of Us research initiative conducted by Scripps Research Translational Institute using Fitbit devices will launch this year. Up to 10,000 Fitbit devices will be provided to a random and diverse set of participants. The study aims to generate unique data to explore the relationship between health indicators such as physical activity and heart rate with other critical health outcomes. 
 
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