Fitbit (FIT) Collaborates With FibriCheck to Reduce Stroke

Fitbit, Inc. FIT recently announced that it has partnered with FibriCheck, enabling Fitbit smartwatch users in Europe to monitor their heart rhythm for irregularities.

Notably, wearables are gaining rapid adoption in the healthcare industry due to growing awareness of fitness and the need to monitor one’s health.

The FibriCheck software is a CE marked health screening and monitoring app that meets the performance standards for medical devices in the European Union.

Notably, this app runs on Fitbit OS. The app uses the company’s commercial-grade photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors to capture heart rhythm measurements that can diagnose conditions such as Atrial Fibrillation (Afib), which is one of the most common irregular heart rhythms. In addition, the app helps to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

The move is expected to boost Fitbit’s share in the growing healthcare market in Europe. Reportedly, the occurrence of strokes in Europe is predicted to increase to more than 800,000 by 2035.


Fitbit, Inc. Price and Consensus


Fitbit, Inc. Price and Consensus

Fitbit, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Fitbit, Inc. Quote

FibriCheck Provides Competitive Leverage

The AFiB feature is expected to provide Fitbit a competitive leverage against the likes of Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung, Garmin, and Alphabet’s GOOGL division Google in smartwatch and wearables markets.

Per eMarketer, 56.7 million adults in the United States will use a wearable device at least once a month in 2019 and just more than half of those will use a smartwatch. Although highest number of wearable users will be youngsters aged between 25 years and 34 years, penetration among older consumers will also increase substantially to 13.2% in 2019 from 6.5% in 2015.

Hence, the Fitbit smartwatch with FibriCheck app is expected to help the company rapidly penetrate this older demography.

Abundant Market Prospects

According to Strategy Analytics' latest report, global smartwatch shipments jumped a staggering 44% during the second quarter of 2019. Apple Watch maintained its #1 position with 46.4% global smartwatch market share during the quarter. Samsung was positioned at #2, followed by Fitbit and Garmin GRMN.

Notably, Fitbit’s sales gain from trackers was solid in the last reported quarter. The company’s tracker devices sold increased 56%, while smartwatch devices sold decreased 7% year over year.

We believe Fitbit’s enhanced wearable offerings will help it to strengthen foothold in the global smartwatch market. This market — per Allied Market Research data — is likely to witness a CAGR of 16.2% between 2018 and 2025, and anticipated to hit $31.1 billion by 2025.

Bottom Line

Fitbit, which maintains foothold in the fitness tracker market, has not been able to deliver much in the smartwatch space.

The company has been hurt by massive competition in the market. It faces competition in both high and low-end product range. On the high-end front, it competes with Apple Watch. Although Fitbit expected Versa 2to be a game changer, it is not an easy task to compete with one of the biggest companies in the world. On the lower end, fitness-tracking devices from Huawei and Xiaomi also pose tough competition.

Recently, it was reported that Fitbit has been in talks with an investment bank about the possibility of exploring a sale.

However, the company remains well poised to rapidly proliferate the healthcare industry, driven by the huge fitness tracker product portfolio. It has been making efforts to provide efficient and smart healthcare management solutions to people suffering from diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases through its latest smart scales.

We believe Fitbit’s continuous push toward personal health monitoring could somewhat support the company during this downturn.

Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider

Currently, Fitbit has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the broader technology sector is Itron, Inc. ITRI, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth for Itron is currently projected at 25%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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