Manage episode 285047602 series 2530089
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Fitness and electronics company Fitbit is replacing a number of its Sense smartwatches for free because of issues with the product’s electrocardiogram (ECG) features. Fitbit Sense was first launched in August 2020. It is the first smartwatch with ECG capabilities from the company. ECG tracks the wearer’s heartbeat to detect heart problems like an irregular heart rhythm. In addition to this feature, Fitbit Sense can also track stress levels and read the wearer’s temperature. News about the smartwatch’s ECG issues first surfaced in the company’s official forums. Users shared emails from Fitbit saying that it had identified problems in some of its Sense units, which could cause them to work improperly. Some users were apprehensive about the emails and thought they were a scam. However, moderators from the forum clarified that the messages were legitimate. According to Fitbit, the Sense smartwatches’ ECG functionality was affected by some hardware issues that might cause its readings to be inconclusive. However, the company did not clarify what exactly caused the ECG features to malfunction. The company said that fewer than 900 units were affected by the problem. As smartwatches and wearable health trackers are becoming more common, more and more people have been relying on them to track their health. However, experts warn that doing so may have possible drawbacks. A recent study found that smartwatches are not very reliable for monitoring health. According to the study, many users who went to the doctor after getting abnormal readings on their smartwatches did not really have health problems. False alarms like these cause patients to go for unnecessary checkups, which take doctors’ time away from patients who actually do need care.