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New Study Bolsters Plaintiffs’ Claims in Fitbit Class Action

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

Plaintiffs in the Fitbit class action received encouraging news when the results of a recent study conducted by California State Polytechnic University, Ponoma concluded that Fitbit’s PurePulse pulse tracker does not accurately monitor a user’s heart rate during more intensive workouts.

The study, which was commissioned by Plaintiffs’ attorney, Lieff Cabraser, tested the heart rates of 43 adults wearing the PurePulse heart rate monitors and then tested the same people using a BioHarness device that produced an electrocardiogram. Participants in the study were put through a workout that would be common for Fitbit wearers, including jogging outside, climbing stairs, jumping rope and running on a treadmill. The results of the study revealed that Fitbit’s PurePulse tracker miscalculated users’ heart rates, on average, by up to 20 beats per minute. Plaintiffs assert that users relying on their Fitbits to gauge their heart rates could be in serious danger, especially if a user has a heart condition.

Fitbit argues that the study is biased due to the fact that the plaintiffs’ attorneys commissioned it. However, a separate study conducted in February 2016 by Ball State University in Indiana also determined that the PurePulse tracker produced an error rate of 14%.

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