Do You Need a Smartphone to Use a Fitbit?

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If you are a health-conscious person then modern health wearables are something that you may be interested in trying. These devices allow you to monitor your health status throughout your day and get a solid overview of how healthy your lifestyle is.

The Fitbit range of devices and associated applications is one of the more popular choices for enthusiasts of wearable health-monitoring gadgets. So, you may be curious about how the Fitbit works and what it does.

One question you might ask yourself is, do you need a smartphone to use a Fitbit?

Yes, these gadgets can work even if you don’t have a smartphone. You will still need a compatible computer or tablet to interface the device with, though.

The Fitbit is a family of wearable electronic devices and accessories, including watches, armbands, pendants, and other gadgets that can monitor your health signs while you are wearing or carrying them. In most cases, they need to be in direct contact with your body to accurately monitor your vitals.

black aluminum case Apple Watch and black Fitbit charge 2

They come with software for processing the data gathered by the wearable devices. This software needs to be installed as a smartphone app or as an application on other compatible devices.

Fitbit also has cloud-based services that can use artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies to do a more in-depth analysis of the data gathered by the wearable device. Some of these services require a subscription.

Fitbits can store some of their monitoring data internally for an extended period, so you don’t need to be continually connected to computer hardware for essential monitoring.

You will eventually need to connect to a compatible device with the Fitbit software installed to allow the monitoring data to be analyzed. In most cases, the device you connect to needs to have access to the internet.

Fitbits can work with most personal computers using a Windows 10 version 1607.0 or higher operating system. Some features also work with Windows 8.1 computers. They will work with Apple devices running the Apple iOS 11 or higher operating system. Android users will need an Android 7.0 or higher OS.

Here are answers to some other Fitbit related questions that you may have.

Can Fitbit detect heart problems?

Fitbit has partnered with a few other software app makers and health companies, and some of these are focused on detecting heart and blood-flow problems.

Cardiogram is one of these companies, and they have a smartphone app along with back-end services that are designed for monitoring heart health.

Their deep neural network technology can analyze the data gathered from Fitbit devices and provide insights into heart-related health conditions.

This data is also used to improve medical research into heart conditions that may help the general public to get better health care.

FibriCheck is another company that has services that work with the Fitbit range of devices. Their heart monitoring app is designed to monitor for a variety of heart rhythm abnormalities.

These include atrial fibrillation, which is a common cause of heart rate irregularity with the potential of leading to a stroke. The advantage of constant monitoring using devices such as the Fitbit is that these irregularities can be more easily detected.

Medical tests often rely on irregular heart conditions showing up during the actual test, which may not happen due to the limited time-frame for testing.

Much of the data gathered from the Fitbit and related services can also be shared with your doctor, which can allow them to get a better overview of your health.

Can Fitbit check blood pressure?

Not at present, though, this is a feature that many users wish that the Fitbit devices supported.

The medical device that you find doctors using is called a Sphygmomanometer, and it is generally bulky and uncomfortable to use. A small portable version of that would be a massive benefit to many Fitbit users who need to keep a regular check on their blood pressure, so Fitbit devices will likely support this functionality sometime in the future.

You can find many other wearable devices that support blood pressure monitoring to a medically useful standard, so this should be technically feasible for the Fitbit to eventually help.

woman sleeping on bed under blankets

Can Fitbit detect sleep apnea?

Pauses and periods of shallow breathing while sleeping are caused by a condition known as sleep apnea. This can be a severe condition that can affect how much oxygen the body and brain get during the sleep cycle, so it is essential to detect this condition to allow it to be monitored and treated.

Some of the health conditions can lead to include stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, chronic fatigue, depression, and obesity. It is also a cause of loud snoring, which can be an annoyance for other people in the household.

The Fitbit devices can detect indications that sleep apnea is occurring and report it to the user. They do this by monitoring restlessness during the night and other patterns that indicate breathing issues. Some of the newer Fitbit devices also come with a SpO2 oxygen saturation sensor, which should give a much more unambiguous indication if the wearer is having problems breathing.

Do you wear your Fitbit to bed?

Fitbit armband devices can generally be worn during sleep and allow reasonably detailed tracking of user sleep patterns. The Fitbit pendant accessory is not recommended for wearing at bedtime, however.

When you wake up, you can sync your Fitbit device with the Fitbit app on your smartphone, tablet, or computer and get stats for how well you slept during the night. This can be a great way to detect sleep issues and also medical problems that may cause poor sleep patterns.

When you are looking after your health or monitoring knew health problems, every bit of information that you have at your disposal can be handy.

The more you know, the less chance of being unpleasantly surprised by unexpected health issues. So if you find yourself asking, “Do you need a smartphone to use a Fitbit?” Then these answers should help you out and give you a clearer idea of what the Fitbit can do to help you monitor your health.

Final thoughts

So while you don’t need a smartphone to have a Fitbit, you will need some computer or tablet.

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