The Bristol-Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance and Fitbit Collaborate to Address Gaps in Atrial Fibrillation Detection with the Aim of Accelerating Diagnosis

The Bristol-Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance and Fitbit announced at the TIME 100 Health Summit in New York that they are working together to help drive timely diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (AFib) with the aim of improving earlier detection in individuals at increased risk of stroke. The BMS-Pfizer Alliance and Fitbit plan to collaborate on the development of educational content and guidance to support people at increased risk for AFib. Upon submission and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance of the AFib detection software on Fitbit devices, the parties will aim to provide users with appropriate information to help encourage and inform discussions with their physicians.

“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,” said Angela Hwang, Group President, Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group. “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.”

AFib is the most common type of irregular heartbeat and is a significant risk factor for stroke.1,2 Approximately eight million people in the United States are projected to be affected by AFib in 2019.3 As the U.S. population ages, this number is expected to rise, as adults aged 65 and older are at an increased risk of developing the condition.3 Because AFib can be asymptomatic, it can often go undetected, and some studies suggest that more than 25 percent of people who have the condition find out after they have a stroke.1,4

“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,” said James Park, Co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. “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.”

Wearable technology has continued to become more integrated in the healthcare landscape5 as people have recognized the value that 24/7 health tracking can have for people of any age or health status, including those at increased risk for specific conditions. Yet, those who use wearables to track their heart rhythm may lack the education or guidance on what to do with the data gathered from their device.6

“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 Joseph Eid, MD, Head of Medical Affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “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.”

About the Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer Alliance

The Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer Alliance is committed to driving education and awareness about atrial fibrillation and venous thromboembolism. With long-standing cardiovascular leadership, global scale and expertise in this field, the Alliance strives to implement global, research-driven approaches to illuminate and address the unmet needs around strokes related to non-valvular atrial fibrillation, which are often fatal or debilitating.4 Through collaborations with non-profit organizations, the Alliance aims to provide patients, physicians, and decision makers with the information they need to understand and take appropriate action on risk factors associated with stroke and other cardiovascular conditions.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com.

Pfizer Inc.: Breakthroughs that change patients’ lives

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. In addition, to learn more, please visit us on www.pfizer.com.

About Fitbit, Inc.

Fitbit helps people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration and guidance to reach their goals. Fitbit designs products and experiences that track and provide motivation for everyday health and fitness. Fitbit’s diverse line of innovative and popular products include Fitbit Charge 3™, Fitbit Inspire HR™, Fitbit Inspire™ and Fitbit Ace 2™ activity trackers, as well as the Fitbit Ionic™ and Fitbit Versa™ family of smartwatches, Fitbit Flyer™ wireless headphones, and Fitbit Aria family of smart scales. Fitbit products are carried in approximately 39,000 retail stores and in 100+ countries around the globe. Powered by one of the world’s largest databases of activity, exercise and sleep data and Fitbit’s leading health and fitness social network, the Fitbit platform delivers personalized experiences, insights and guidance through leading software and interactive tools, including the Fitbit and Fitbit Coach apps, and Fitbit OS for smartwatches. Fitbit’s paid subscription service, Fitbit Premium, uses your unique data to deliver actionable guidance and coaching in the Fitbit app to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Fitbit Health Solutions develops health and wellness solutions designed to help increase engagement, improve health outcomes, and drive a positive return for employers, health plans and health systems.

Fitbit and the Fitbit logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fitbit, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Additional Fitbit trademarks can be found. Third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

1 CDC. Atrial Fibrillation Fact Sheet. Accessed March 2019. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_atrial_fibrillation.htm.

2 Cleveland Clinic. Know Your Risk Factors for Stroke. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/13398-know-your-risk-factors-for-stroke. Accessed August 28, 2019.

3 Colilla S, Crow A, Petkun W, Singer DE, Simon T, Liu X. Estimates of Current and Future Incidence and Prevalence of Atrial Fibrillation in the U.S. Adult Population. Am J Cardiol. 2013;112:1142-1147.

4 Freedman B, Potpara TS, Lip GY. Stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation. Lancet. 2016;388:806-817.

5 Cheung CC, Krahn AD, Andrade JG. The Emerging Role of Wearable Technologies in Detection of Arrhythmia. Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 2018;34:1083-1087.

6 Knowles B, Smith A, Poursabzi-Sangdeh F, Lu D, Alabi H. Attending to the Problem of Uncertainty in Current and Future Health Wearables. Communications of the ACM. 2018:1-6.

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