Image source: Fitbit

Fitbit Health Metrics to be made available at no cost for the first time

It seems glucose tracking is not the only feature arriving to your Fitbit in the near future. Charge 4 owners will get access to skin temperature variability readings. Certain premium health metrics will also be made available to non-Premium users for the first time.

Mind you, it will not be exactly the same experience as the Premium users get. Those not paying the monthly fee will be able to see one week’s worth of data. It is only those that fork out the $79.99 necessary for the annual subscription that will get access to the full package.

Nevertheless, it’s a nice gesture from Fitbit to make this data available. Its decision to put certain features behind a paywall was not popular. But the free access is only for certain devices.

Who gets what?

Charge 4 users will get access to SpO2 readings on the watch-face. Previously, this was only available as a graph as part of the nightly sleep stats in the smartphone app.

But that’s not all. Who knew the Charge 4 had a skin temperature sensor? Well it does and you’ll soon be able to access the readings. Just like on the Versa range and Sense, these are overnight skin temperature variation estimates.

Other goodies that are coming to Charge 4, Versa 2 and Inspire 2 owners come in the form of free access to Health Metrics. As mentioned, here you’ll be able to see a week’s worth of data on breathing rate during sleep, heart rate variability (HRV) and more. Those with a premium subscription will get to see more detailed data, including long-term trends.

An increase in breathing rate or HRV could be an indicator that you are coming down with something or that your body needs rest. So it’s good to follow trends over time. HRV is also a popular metric, particularly with those who are serious about training. This is because it shows how fatiqued you are.

It’s good to see that Charge 4 getting all these upgrades. The device is our pick as the best fitness tracker for the average person. The new features will make it even better. The device hasn’t been around that long and is still a good buy considering we are not expecting its successor until 2022.

Fitbit Sense is also getting some love. The company is expanding access to the ECG feature to a few more countries. This includes certain US territories (such as American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Guam), Canada and New Zealand. The company can only enable ECG in countries where it has received regulatory approval. Luckily for Americans, one of the first approvals Fitbit received was from the FCC.

Glucose update

As per our article from a few days ago, all Fitbit users will also start to see a glucose panel in their smartphone app. The gist of this is that you’ll soon be able to manually enter glucose measurements for a more complete picture of your health.

If you use the OneTouch Reveal app from LifeScan your measurements will make their way over to the Fitbit app automatically. That’s something you’ll be able to do with more glucose monitors over time.

Where’s the update?

What is not clear at the moment is when the above features will land. There are reports certain users are already seeing them, but these are exceptions rather than the rule. The word is that the update will land later this month. As always, it will be a progressive rollout. Fitbit does this in order to iron out any possible bugs at an early stage.

The company has not said anything to confirm or deny these rumors. A moderator of one of the official Fitbit forums had this to say earlier today.

“Regarding your update inquiry, we don’t have this type of information. But, you will be able to see a banner at the moment of having any pending update. Just keep an eye on your Fitbit app.”

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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