May 6 (Reuters) – Fitbit Inc on Wednesday launched a virtual study to test if its wearable devices can detect irregular heart rhythms, which could identify a condition called atrial fibrillation.

Fitbit, which is in the process of getting acquired by Google-parent Alphabet Inc, has been developing a method to detect irregular heartbeats since October to match the feature available on rival Apple Inc’s Watch.

The study is open to individuals who are 22 years old and above in the United States and own Fitbit devices like “Ionic” and “Versa”, the company said. Fitbit aims to enroll hundreds of thousands of people for the study.

Atrial fibrillation, the most common form of heart rhythm irregularity, increases the risk of stroke and is usually prevalent among people above 65 years. (Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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