Fitbit has released a huge new update that brings new calculations to Charge 4 – and some of the best Premium features behind the payment wall.
Charge 4 – Fitbit’s premium training track – gets the most love and lifts it towards the Fitbit Sense health watch with temperature tracking and extended oxygen data in the blood.
And the company has also revised Health Metrics, which was previously behind the payment wall Fitbit Premium service. It is now available for free to more people, and it has improved its feature to help people better understand their health data.
What’s more – users in Canada, New Zealand and US territories can now get the ECG feature on Fitbit Sense.
The new features have already arrived on our accounts, so let̵
Load 4 new features
Most exciting for Charge 4 users, the company is adding skin temperature data for this device. Temperature measurement has so far only been found on Fitbit Sense, so this is a great new addition to the area.
And Charge 4 users will also be able to see an oxygen reading in the blood on the wrist. Previously, readings from the SpO2 sensor were only clear in the graph Estimated Oxygen Variation as part of the device’s sleep tracking.
But like Versa 3 and Sense, which debuted the SpO2 dial, Charge 4 users will be able to see oxygen saturation on the device itself for the first time.
The form factor for the training tracker is synonymous with the Fitbit experience, even in the smartwatch age, so it’s no surprise that Fitbit will not see Charge 4 again. It is now even more powerful, and even surpasses Versa 3 as a health device.
Health metrics for multiple users
Health Metrics is available to non-Premium users for the first time
If Versa 2 was not enough, Charge 4 and Inspire 2 users can now access the Data Health Metrics dashboard without a Fitbit Premium subscription.
Health Metrics is part of the Fitbit app that displays raw biometric data from the sensors on your Fitbit device – and many are not available elsewhere in the app.
The above devices will show breathing rate and heart rate variability for the first time – along with old favorites such as resting heart rate.
However, it is not quite the same experience that Premium users get. Those who do not pay the subscription can only see one week’s data – while those who pay $ 79.99 a month can see a full month.
You can see the screenshot above, which shows Health Metrics from a non-Premium account on Charge 4.
Health Metrics is moving towards disease detection
Health metrics that show personal intervals
But the changes are not all for non-Premium users. Those who use health measurements will now see their personal intervals, which are designed to make sense of the data.
Anyone who uses health measurements may be a little mystified by large increases or decreases in data such as respiration rate and heart rate variability. Fatigue, tiredness or alcohol can be factors that can cause heart rate variability to plummet – and in our review of Fitbit Sense, we criticized this part of the app for being unclear to users trying to make sense of the numbers.
Now Fitbit is adding a clear personal area to the Health Metrics graph – to try to add context to what is the normal natural rhythm in our body, and what may be something to notice.
The company’s COVID-19 study showed that abnormal changes in breathing rate and HRV can be early signs of an infection – so adding a personal area is the first move towards something similar to the detection of disease.
Fitbit adds support for tracking blood sugar
Fitbit has also added blood glucose tracking to the app for the first time.
Although this is not detected by any given Fitbit tracker (non-invasive portable glucose tracking is still some distance away), it does mean that those who monitor blood sugar levels can post their readings via the Fitbit app.
On the surface, this will work in a similar way to features such as hydration and nutrition tracking in the Fitbit app, which is not connected to the device itself.
The Fitbit glucose tracking feature will also allow users to set high and low blood sugar intervals, as well as related symptoms. And users will be able to see trends over time, to identify patterns in blood sugar behavior.