Patent published on September 21, 2023

New Patent Might Make Fitbit Charge 5 Your Wearable Blood Pressure Monitor

The hitherto annoying experience of having to use an inflating cuff to get a blood pressure reading might soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new invention by Fitbit, according to the details of a recent patent (US20230293028A1) filing.

Getting a standard blood pressure reading requires the use of either an oscillometric blood pressure measurement (OBPM) device or, less commonly, the auscultation method using a sphygmomanometer—both involve the use of an inflating cuff. This not only can cause discomfort to the user, but these methods also require professional handling in some cases. They render blood pressure monitoring difficult to be carried out frequently and under various situations—an essential need for continuity in health data tracking.

The new invention as disclosed in the Fitbit patent solves this problem by calculating blood pressure based on the Pulse Transit Time (PTT)—the time it takes for a heartbeat to travel through the body. This novel technology calculates blood pressure without needing the user to wear an inflating cuff, making the process less cumbersome.

The device is aided by multiple physiological sensors to ensure accuracy and features various methods to account for blood pressure variation, as detailed in the patent titled "Calibration of Pulse-Transit-Time to Blood Pressure Model Using Multiple Physiological Sensors and Various Methods for Blood Pressure Variation."

The convenience of this blood pressure monitoring system allows users to continually monitor their blood pressure while going about their daily routines—whether they are exercising, walking, or even sleeping, thus making the technology a game-changer for individuals who need to keep a close eye on their blood pressure due to health concerns.

This new development is not merely theoretical. The patent details plans to incorporate this technology into Fitbit Charge 5—the company's latest smartwatch model. This implementation would make the device not just a fitness tracker but a valuable tool that allows you to keep a tab on your blood pressure consistently and unobtrusively.

That being said, the figures that accompany the patent also provide further information on how the invention works. The precise calibration and automated control of measurements promised in the patent might offer numerous benefits, such as faster readings and allowing for a larger number of readings under a wider variety of conditions without the need for professional handling.

P.S: While this patent marks a significant step forward in the user-friendly monitoring of blood pressure, it's worth noting that the process to bring this technology to the market is subject to regulatory feasibility, among other factors. Therefore, even though the technology is patented, there's no guarantee that the invention will eventually hit the market.

Explore more