Devices & Diagnostics, Diagnostics

Fitbit and NIH boost precision medicine research partnership

Fitbit users can now link their accounts to All of Us precision medicine research project to help researchers better understand the relationship between fitness and wellness metrics and larger health outcomes.

San Francisco, California-based wearables company Fitbit has partnered with the National Institutes of Health on the organization’s All of Us Research Program, which seeks to gather health data from one million Americans to accelerate and improve research into precision medicine.

As the first wearable to be included in the program, Fitbit users can now link their accounts to the project to help researchers better understand the relationship between fitness and wellness metrics like physical activity, heart rate and sleep to larger health outcomes.

Alongside the health metrics collected through Fitbit devices, All of Us participants are also asked to share a wide variety of health information including EMR records, genomic info, biosamples and physical measurements.

“Collecting real-world, real-time data through digital technologies will become a fundamental part of the program,” Eric Dishman, director of All of Us, said in a statement.

“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.”

Wearable devices have gained increased interest from researchers looking for a passive method to collect real-world longitudinal health data that is more consistent and accurate than self-reported metrics.

All of Us also announced a second research partnership with Fitbit that will launch later this year and provide 10,000 devices to a diverse group of participants to further explore the link between health indicators and critical health outcomes.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Fitbit users who choose to participate, to further contribute to one of the world’s largest research efforts by providing information that can help pave the way to a healthier future for all of us,” Adam Pellegrini, general manager of Fitbit Health Solutions, said in a statement.

“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.”

Picture: Fitbit