NIH, Fitbit Launch First Digital Health Technology Initiative BYOD Project

Fitbit all of us

Fitbit and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched an initiative called the Fitbit Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) project. It’s the first digital health technology initiative for the All of Us research program, a precision medicine study hoping to improve the prevention and treatment of disease based on individual differences in lifestyle, environment and genetics.

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Fitbit users currently enrolled in the program can now choose to sync their Fitbit accounts to help researchers unlock deeper insights into the relationships between health indicators such as physical activity, heart rate, sleep and health outcomes. It is one of the world’s largest precision medicine studies, and Fitbit is the first wearable to be included in the program.

“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,” said Adam Pellegrini, general manager, Fitbit Health Solutions.

fitbit research

Participants will be invited to share various health information over time through surveys, electronic health records, physical measurements, biosamples and digital health technologies. Researchers will be able to access that data for a range of health studies. Strict safeguards will be put in place to protect the privacy of participants, Fitbit said in a press release.

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

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The first leg of the All of Us program was launched in May 2018; the second All of Us initiative will launch in 2019, which will involve providing up to 10,000 Fitbit devices to a diverse set of participants randomly invited to take part.