The Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY)-Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) Alliance said today that it is working with Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) to improve earlier detection of atrial fibrillation in individuals with an increased risk of stroke.
Fitbit and the alliance plan to work together on the development of educational content and guidance in support of people at increased risk for Afib. Fitbit is seeking FDA clearance for its Afib detection software and, if it achieves that, the parties plan to give users information to encourage discussions with physicians, according to a news release.
The BMS-Pfizer Alliance was created to improve education and awareness regarding Afib and venous thromboembolism through collaborations with non-profit organizations.
Last month, Fitbit and FibriCheck inked a deal to enable European users to monitor their heart rhythm for irregularities directly from a Fitbit smartwatch. FibriCheck is designed to use Fitbit’s operating system and sensors to capture heart rhythm measurements from a user’s wrist.
FibriCheck has said the data reading can be completed in 60 seconds, observed on the Fitbit screen and shared with medical professionals through FibriCheck’s web interface. The app showed high accuracy in detecting the presence of Afib on Fitbit watches compared to state-of-the-art wearable ECG technologies during a clinical trial.
“We’re in a new era of healthcare, where we’re not only focused on developing treatments but also looking at the potential of technology and data to help patients learn more about their health,” president of Pfizer biopharmaceuticals group Angela Hwang said in prepared remarks. “We are excited about wearables and how our work with BMS and Fitbit may potentially help patients and physicians detect and understand heart rhythm irregularities.”
“At Fitbit, we’re focused on making health more accessible and, through our efforts with the BMS-Pfizer Alliance, we have the potential to support earlier detection of atrial fibrillation, a potentially asymptomatic condition that affects millions of Americans,” added Fitbit co-founder & CEO James Park. “With our continuous, 24/7 on-wrist health tracking capabilities, and our experience delivering personalized, engaging software and services, we believe we can develop content to help bridge the gaps that exist in atrial fibrillation detection, encouraging people to visit their doctor for a prompt diagnosis and potentially reduce their risk of stroke.”
“Too many people discover that they are suffering from atrial fibrillation only after experiencing a stroke. In fact, some studies suggest that this is true for more than 25 percent of people who have the condition,” said BMS head of medical affairs Dr. Joseph Eid. “These efforts with Fitbit exemplify not only our unwavering commitment to addressing the evolving needs of patients with atrial fibrillation, but also our dedication to advancing care by embracing technology as a part of routine clinical practice.”
In midday trading today, shares of FIT were up 4.4% at $3.90 per share, shares of PFE were up 0.5% at $36.52 per share and shares of BMY were up 1.9% at $52.50 per share.