Fitbit Alta HR

As we’ve been saying, the trajectory for wearable Health Tech devices is going to be away from the products limited to fitness tracking, and toward more health and medical measurements that will be helpful in diagnosing illness in the early stages when treatment is more effective and efficient. We continue to see the “fitness” products expand their feature sets to encompass more health details.

The new Fitbit Alta HR is an example of this trend. Unlike many fitness devices that only take a heart rate measurement at intervals, this new fitness band provides continuous heart rate tracking. This means that it will measure resting heart rate as well as your rate while exercising. Changes in resting heart rate can indicate improved fitness, illness, or other factors. The Alta HR has a battery that is rated to last for five days between charges, so you can wear it around the clock.

The long battery life also supports another set of features that Fitbit has introduced. Their new “Sleep Stages” and “Sleep Insights” give users more information about their rest. Sleep stages uses motion data and heart rate variability to provide more accurate estimates of how deeply you sleep. And the system can also look for correlations between your activities and the quality of your sleep, and provide suggestions on how to improve your sleep.

We expect this trend to continue, as the “fitness” products expand their scope to include more data that can help guide the wearer to make healthier choices.