NIH recruits Fitbit for Precision Medicine Initiative program

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The one-year study will generate a dataset for the All of Us project under the Precision Medicine Initiative.

The National Institutes of Health has tapped Fitbit to provide 10,000 devices for the All of Us research program, which seeks to collect health data from more than 1 million people as part of the Precision Medicine Initiative.

Specifically, the devices will be used at the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI), which runs The Participant Center, which aims to enroll diverse populations across the U.S. in the program.

STSI will provide Fitbit devices to a representative sample of All of Us volunteers for use in a one-year study, according to a statement. The study will create a dataset that allows researchers to investigate the relationship between factors such as physical activity, heart rate and sleep and other health outcomes.

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Additionally, the researchers will make recommendations on how Fitbit’s devices may be used more broadly in the All of Us program.

“As part of the global shift towards precision medicine, wearable data has the potential to inform highly personalized healthcare,” said Adam Pellegrini, General Manager of Fitbit Health Solutions. “Through this historic initiative, we will be able to see the role that Fitbit data can play on the path to better understanding how individualization can help to prevent and treat disease.”

Apple and Verily are also deploying their wearables in research—Takeda is using an Apple Watch app to monitor people with depression, while Verily’s wearable health tracker, the Study Watch, is designed to meet the needs of clinical trials.