The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) together with Fitbit have launched the Bring Your Own Device project, enabling Fitbit users to share data with the NIH 'All of Us' programme.
All of Us is a research programme aiming to gather data from one million or more Americans to improve the ability to prevent and treat disease based on individual differences in lifestyle, environment and genetics. Fitbit users can now choose to contribute data from their wearables to All of Us, providing researchers with data such as physical activity, heart rate, and sleep.
"Collecting real-world, real-time data through digital technologies will become a fundamental part of the program," said Eric Dishman, director of the All of Us Research Program. "This information in combination with many other data types will give us an unprecedented ability to better understand the impact of lifestyle and environment on health outcomes and, ultimately, develop better strategies for keeping people healthy in a very precise, individualised way."
While Fitbit users can use their device to sync health stats with the program, a device is not required to participate. All of Us participants can also choose to connect their data through their Fitbit account and manually add information such as their weight, water intake and meals. It is only open to US residents, and attempting to access the Join All of Us website from outside the US gives an Access Denied error message.