Fitbit Not Accurate? Fitness Monitor Accused Of ‘Dangerously Inaccurate’ Heart Rate Readings, Class Action Lawsuit Filed

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Fitbit for “dangerously inaccurate” heart rate readings. The lawsuit claims that the Fitbit can be as much as 80 bpm below other monitors which can be dangerous for those using the monitors during intense physical activity. Though the lawsuit claims that the Fitbit readings are dangerous, the company claims that the fitness monitor is not “scientific” and should not be used as a “medical device.”

A class action lawsuit filed against Fitbit calls out the fitness monitor company for deceiving marketing and dangerously inaccurate heart rate readings. The lawsuit notes that the Fitbit slogans of “Every Beat Counts” and “Know Your Own Heart” are deceiving as the monitor fails to provide accurate heart rate readings on a consistent basis. The lawsuit claims that the PurePulse trackers inside of the Fitbit are “consistently” inaccurate and can be off by a significant margin, especially when the user is in the middle of intense physical activity.

The lawsuit says that Fitbit is “profiting handsomely” by touting the heart rate tracking capabilities of fitness monitor. However, the lawsuit says that this profit is being made by “defrauding” and “cheating” customers. According to the Daily Mail, the Fitbit was reportedly off by nearly 80 bpm, a significant margin, during one claimant’s exercise. The personal trainer of the claimant recorded the heart rate at 160 beats per minute while the Fitbit only recorded a rate of 82 bmp at the same time. According to the claimants, this can be dangerous to those that are medically required to keep their heart rate under a certain bmp while exercising.

Though the Fitbit is not a “medical device,” the claimants note that the company has banked heavily on the heart rate monitoring capabilities of the fitness monitor in marketing. Therefore, the lawsuit alleges that Fitbit should be held responsible for the inaccurate readings which could result in problem for users. However, Fitbit says that they have never claimed to be a “medical device” and that the fitness monitor is not meant to be “scientific” but rather provide meaningful data to the end user.

“It’s also important to note that Fitbit trackers are designed to provide meaningful data to our users to help them reach their health and fitness goals, and are not intended to be scientific or medical devices.”

Fitbit says they plan to fight the lawsuit and that they feel strongly that the class action lawsuit is without merit.

“Fitbit is committed to making the best clip and wrist-based activity trackers on the market. Our team has performed and continues to perform internal studies to validate our products’ performance. PurePulse provides better overall heart rate tracking than cardio machines at the gym, as it tracks your heart rate continuously – even while you’re not at the gym or working out. “

Though Fitbit says they will fight the lawsuit, investors do not seem to think the fitness monitor can make it out on top. Shares for the company have fallen by 18 percent as a result of the latest lawsuit and the introduction of the Apple Watch that also tracks fitness but has a longer battery life.

What do you think of the Fitbit lawsuit? Do you think the inaccurate readings are “dangerous” to the end user? Should Fitbit remove all slogans relating to the accuracy of the heart rate monitor until they can prove the accuracy of the device?

[Image via AP]