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Can Fitbit Track Blood Pressure? Here’s What You Should Know

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Contrary to what you may have read online, taking blood pressure readings isn’t one of the things a Fitbit can do.

It does includes a pulse oximeter that gathers your health’s data and notifies you if something seems wrong. But it doesn’t have an inflatable cuff to track the force of blood against the walls of your arteries.

Key Takeaways

  • A Fitbit would need an inflatable cuff to measure the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.
  • While the inclusion of the cuff in a Fitbit would be helpful, the technology is expensive to develop and difficult to perfect.
  • The brand’s product lineup does have the SpO2 sensor, which, if improved, may allow you to detect potential health issues, including abnormal blood flow.

Why Your Fitbit Can’t Measure Blood Pressure

To know why your Fitbit can’t measure how fast blood pumps against the walls of your arteries, you first need to understand how a blood pressure monitor works.

Let me explain:

Physicians use a sphygmomanometer to determine the rate at which your heart pumps blood.

This device has an inflatable cuff, an inflation mechanism, and a measuring unit. The cuff wraps around your upper arm, inflates, and then deflates at a slower pace.

During this time, the measuring unit, which is usually mercury, monitors your blood pressure in a controlled manner. And the physician uses a stethoscope to take the readings.

Another reliable option is an electronic monitor. For this case, the cuff inflates automatically, and then it gives digital readings after a complete deflation.

At this time, none of the Fitbit models features the inflatable cuff, an inflation mechanism, and a measuring unit to take and log such readings to the companion app.

Besides, the technology is still expensive to develop, difficult to perfect, and not as easy to implement on smartwatches and fitness trackers.

The sphygmomanometer may be a traditional option, but this device remains the gold standard that guarantees reliable readings.

Fitbit COULD Estimate Blood Pressure in the Future  

The much the company has done so far is a study on whether Fitbit Sense can use Pulse Arrival Time to detect blood pressure in the body.

Pulse Arrival time, or PAT, determines how long it takes blood to reach your wrist after every heartbeat without having to measure it directly.

And while Fitbit did find a correlation between blood pressure and Pulse Arrival Time, they limited their study to small data sets in a three-week interval.

Therefore, the study and the results are from conclusive, at least to the best of my knowledge.

Can I Add Blood Pressure Readings to the Fitbit App?

No, you cannot add such readings to the companion app because even the app itself doesn’t have what it takes to determine the rate of blood flow in your system.

Despite lacking the inflatable cuff, Fitbit fitness trackers and smartwatches have active SpO2 sensors, which might help to detect health issues such as sleep apnea.

Is There a Smartwatch that Measures Blood Pressure?

If Fitbit, despite being such an advanced brand with some of the well-established models under its hood, can’t measure blood pressure, what can?

Fortunately, there are options that can get the job done. And you might want to consider one of them if being able to determine how fast blood pumps in your body is the only thing you want to do.

1. HeartGuide Blood Pressure Monitor Smartwatch

OMRON heartguide

Building a blood pressure monitor in the form of a smartwatch isn’t as easy. But OMRON has been able to crack the code with its HeartGuide.

At its hardware level, HeartGuide features a manually activated inflatable cuff to measure blood pressure.

The watch synchronizes with the Omron Connect app, which is available for Android and iOS.

Omron Connect uses color-corded graph to store your readings and present you with significant trends based on factors such as time of the day and workout intensity.

HeartGuide stands as the first of its kind smartwatch that gives dependable stats on your wrist. And while it’s hard to conclude that the readings are 100% accurate, the data presented in the graph can be helpful nonetheless.

This isn’t a waterproof fitness watch, so you can’t wear it even under light rain and expect it to hold up. Also, it might appear bulky to some people, particularly those who have small hands.

Pros

  • Clear, bright, easy-to-ready display
  • Fast readings guaranteed
  • An FDA-cleared smartwatch
  •  

Cons

  • Not a waterproof model
  • May appear bulky to some people
  • It’s somewhat pricey

2. WAFA Fitness Tracker

wafa fitness tracker

WAFA hit the market with the goal to bring you a fitness tracker you can use to monitor and optimize your health. And for a model that goes for under $40, the brand has done quite a decent job on this one.

First, WAFA fitness tracker tracks metrics in real time, really well, despite being so cheap.

It does actually take blood pressure readings quite well, but the results are a few points off compared to what you get from an actual monitor. Still, the values are close enough to be useful.

The battery lasts 48 hours maximum on a full charge. That isn’t the optimal runtime range compared to some competing models. However, it’s a fair play for the price point. 

Perhaps one the common, but often less used, feature that WAFA and Fitbit have in common is the Reminder to Move. By encouraging you to get up and get moving, this watch can help you focus on building an active lifestyle all day every day.

Pros

  • A user-focused, easy-to-use mobile app
  • Helpful data with a near accurate estimate
  • Can monitor and report heart rate data
  • Decent battery life for the price point

Cons

  • Small screen with a thick bezel
  • Confuses stillness with sleep

My Closing Thoughts

Fitbit smartwatches and fitness trackers are great. But they’re not yet good enough to determine your body’s blood pressure levels.

As it stands, we don’t know what the future holds for the brand as far as being able take such vital readings is concerned.

But if it breaks through this area, Fitbit could save hundreds, if not thousands, of people from heart diseases and stroke.

Photo of author

Michael Jonathan

Michael Jonathan is the brainchild of Apelo Studio. He loves talking about wearable devices, and he is passionate about helping you push your wearable device to its limits. His creativity and ability to tear electric components apart and put them back together makes him an incredible troubleshooter and blogger.

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