Issue with health feature forces Fitbit to recall and replace some Sense smartwatches

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Smartwatches are getting smarter, especially when it comes to keeping track of your health. These days connected timepieces can alert you when your heart rate is too fast or too slow, let you know if your blood isn’t pumping enough oxygen throughout your body, and can track the rhythm of your heart to make sure that you don’t have a condition known as AFib (Atrial fibrillation). The 2.7 million Americans suffering with AFib have a “quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.”

Fitbit, which is still in the midst of getting all of the i’s dotted and t’s crossed to complete its acquisition by Google parent Alphabet for $2.1 billion, is replacing some of its Sense smartwatches because of a problem with one of the health related features on the device. Late last month, a post on the Fitbit Product Help Forum copied verbatim an email that Fitbit sent to Sense owners. It read:
“This is Fitbit Customer Support. Thanks for your purchase of Fitbit Sense.

We identified a hardware issue with your device that could affect its ability to work properly. Please return the device to us. We’ll provide you with a prepaid return label.

To ensure the best possible Fitbit experience, we’re providing you with a replacement free of charge. Please keep all original accessories, such as your charging cable and band. You’ll receive a replacement device only.

After we receive your shipping details, you’ll receive an email message with the next steps for your replacement and then we’ll expedite a new Fitbit Sense to you.”

According to The Verge, Fitbit admitted that the number of units affected is less than 900 worldwide and is related to the Electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor on the watch which looks for abnormal heart rhythms. This feature wasn’t included on the Sense when it originally launched and was added in a subsequent software update. The issue with the ECG technology resulted in the incorrect display of “inconclusive” readings on the watch.
The Fitbit Sense has been in the news recently for more than the ECG glitch. The watch has added support for Google Assistant.



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