Class action lawsuit filed against Fitbit for inaccurate heart rate readings

Wearable technology to measure your heart rate has become the latest trend in fitness, but the brand best known for its Fitbit devices is being called in question for accuracy. 

“The devices were inaccurate by an average of about 20 beats per minute during exercise,” attorney, Kevin Budner, said. 

Budner’s firm Lieff Cabraser represents consumers in a class action lawsuit against Fitbit.

The firm commissioned a study with researchers at Cal Poly Pomona to measure the Fitbit’s accuracy against an electrocardiogram machine. 

“We found that the products simply were not delivering what consumers were told what they could deliver and what they paid a pretty substantial premium for and that’s consumer fraud,” Budner said. 

The study measured the heart monitoring function in three FitBit devices: Charge HR, Surge and Blaze. 

It also warned that the inaccuracies could pose health problems for those relying on it for an accurate reading. 

“I don’t think the FitBit is accurate,” user, Luis Ramos, said. “I’ve tried on the Apple watch and it seemed more accurate in heart rate, calories and everything.” 

However fitness expert and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Levi Harrison has a different take on the device. 

He warns that Fitbit users could make errors when wearing the device and although it might not be a hundred percent correct, it serves a greater health purpose. 

“Cardio vascular disease is the number one killer of men and women in America,” Harrison said. “The Fitbit does have its proper roll in reminding people do what you can to maintain your health, but more importantly to elevate your health and sense of well being.” 

Harrison also said that if consumers need an accurate heart rate for health reasons they shouldn’t rely solely on a Fitbit. 

The company did not answer FOX11’s direct request for comment, but has responded to the study calling it biased and an attempt to get a payout from Fitbit. 

The class action lawsuit seeks a refund for consumers. 

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