10,000 Fitbits are being handed out in a study to gather vital health data

Physical activity, heart rate and sleep data will be taken and studied
Fitbit used in long-term health study

Fitbit has been chosen by the National Institutes of Health to be part of a long-term study that will examine how lifestyle differences can affect personal health.

Fitbit was picked to be part of the NIH's All of US research program, introduced by President Obama in 2015, which spans across the US and studies how diseases are caused - and can be prevented - by lifestyle, biological and environmental differences.

Read this: Best fitness trackers to buy in 2017

The Scripps Translational Science Institute, which runs part of the All of US project, will be handing out up to 10,000 Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Alta HR devices which will be used in the study. The study will take place over the course of a year.

Fitbit was selected due to the broad compatibility of its trackers and a battery life that goes a bit further than wearables like the Apple Watch.

Heart rate, physical activity and sleep data will be monitored in subjects. We've found Fitbit's heart rate tracking to falter a bit in more intense workouts, so how that could affect the study remains to be seen, but for day-to-day tracking it performs solidly, while sleep tracking is the best we've experienced on any wearable.

Earlier this year a report from the Sleep Research Society found that Fitbit's sleep tracking came in 69% agreement with testing by polysomnography technicians in normal adult sleepers, which is considered a "reasonable degree of accuracy".

"We've basically exceeded anything that has been published in academic literature about how you can measure sleep stages with respiration, heart rate, movement and so on," Dr Conor Heneghan, Fitbit's lead sleep research scientist told us at the time.

So it's exciting times for Fitbit as the company continues to make big moves in the health space.

Fitbit selected for long-term health study


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