Health-centric wearables maker Fitbit has teamed up with several healthcare companies to look into adding an ECG feature, similar to what Apple has on the Apple Watch, to its activity trackers.

Fitbit has announced that it is partnering with the BMS-Pfizer Alliance to look for ways to help individuals detect atrial fibrillation early, and provide them with relevant education so they know what to do when they discover they have the condition. The BMS-Pfizer Alliance is a collaboration between Bristol-Myers Squibb and and Pfizer.

“ At Fitbit, we’re focused on making health more accessible and, through our efforts with the BMS-Pfizer Alliance, we have the potential to support earlier detection of atrial fibrillation, a potentially asymptomatic condition that affects millions of Americans,” James Park, Co-founder and CEO of Fitbit, said in a press release.

Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is the most common type of heart arrythmia, a condition where a person's heartbeats are either too slow, too fast, or irregular. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that an estimated 2.7-6.1 million people in the U.S. have AFib, and the number will increase as the population gets older.

Afib is a significant risk factor for stroke. People with the condition are up to four to five times more at risk of experiencing strokes compared to those without it. And because of its asymptomatic nature, it usually goes undetected until a person suffers a stroke

Apple made inroads to health when it introduced the ECG feature on the Apple Watch Series 4. Cupertino's wearable has been credited with helping save lives in various locations, Cult of Mac noted. The partnership between Fitbit and the BMS-Pfizer Alliance is seen to bring the helpful feature to more people who need it.

“ We’re in a new era of healthcare, where we’re not only focused on developing treatments but also looking at the potential of technology and data to help patients learn more about their health,” Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group President Angela Hwang said in a press release.

Aside from adding an ECG feature to Fitbit's wearables, the partnership also aims to develop “educational content and guidance to support people at increased risk for AFib,” providing them with important information they need.

Fitbit Google might soon be able to release a Pixel wearable if it succeeds in acquiring Fitbit. Photo: StockSnap / Pixabay