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03 April 2016

Woman Complains of 'Unbearable Pain' Caused by Her Fitbit As Other Users Claim They Have Been Left with Burns

'According to our consulting dermatologists, [the rashes] are
likely from wearing the band too tight', Fitbit said in a
statement to Dailymail.com.  Pictured is a rash from its
Force wristband, which has also caused problems.
View this 2-minute videoclip demonstrating the emission of harmful pulsed microwave radiation from the Fitbit device.  

Woman complains of 'unbearable pain' caused by her Fitbit as other users claim they have been left with BURNS

- Fitbit is swamped by complaints that the device is leaving red marks
- The Fitbit Charge HR valued at around $200 measures a person's fitness
- One Sydney customer said the company refused to refund the product
- Fitbit reportedly sent her a written letter asking her to first destroy it
- A customer from Adelaide also requested the company recall the product


Fitness company Fitbit has received an onslaught of customer complaints from users who found themselves with 'uncomfortable deep tissue pain' after wearing the device on their wrists.

A customer from Adelaide, Emma Schouten, said she was receiving unbearable pain from wearing the wristband.

Another customer from Sydney, Connie Tzouvelekas, claims to have been burnt by her Fitbit Charge HR but has been refused a refund from the company for failing to destroy the device, reported The Advertiser.

According to Ms Tzouvelekas a written document sent by the company said they 'require a proof of destruction' before they addressed the issue.

Designed for constant use Fitbits which range around $200 are meant to be worn, in order to track your steps, sleep and other health metrics.

'I recently purchased the fitbit charge HR, since first wearing it I am getting really uncomfortable deep tissue pain on whatever wrist I wear it on (I have never experienced anything like this before),' wrote Emma Schouten on Fitbit's Facebook page.

'I have now discontinued using it as it is too unbearable. The band is loose on my wrist and I have no skin irritation.

'As the watch moves the pain follows wherever it goes, left wrist to right and up and down my wrist.

'I am extremely concerned about these side effects of a seemingly harmless fitness tracker....I am very concerned about the effects of the fitbit and I am hoping now I have discontinued using it that the pain will not return.

'I believe my product to be faulty and dangerous,' wrote Ms Schouten.

But despite asking for a prompt reply and a refund instead of an exchange it took the company one week to reply.

This comes a month after international customers caused a stir over the Fitbit devices complaining about painful skin rashes.

The California-based company admitted that a 'limited percentage' of users reported skin irritation from constantly wearing the fitness tracker.

Attempting to address the situation the company advised its customers to take a break from wearing the device.

'According to our consulting dermatologists, [the rashes] are likely from wearing the band too tight,' Fitbit said in a statement to Dailymail.com.

It said other causes could be 'sweat, water, or soap being held against the skin under the device; or from pressure or friction against the skin.'

'They should resolve quickly when users take a break from the device, usually within hours or days. If symptoms persist, contact your doctor.'

The Fitbit Surge launched five months ago saw continuing issues that were also present with the similar devices Charge and Charge HR.

ABC7 news in San Francisco reported last year that it had found more than 200 instances of new Fitbit rash complaints on social media.

Shaun Ewing posted a picture of his rash on Twitter with the message: 'Having a break from my @fitbit Surge. Might need to stop wearing it - nice rash (and my skin isn't usually sensitive).'

Another user, Laura Evans wrote 'I love my new @fitbit minus the awesome, itchy rash that comes with it. Ugh.'

In response to the most recent complaints, Fitbit told Dailymail.com: 'The safety of our users is our top priority.

'Fitbit takes pride in the leadership role it has assumed in product safety for wearable activity trackers and continues to work with its independent laboratories and scientific and medical consultants to stay at the cutting edge of product safety concerns.

'We continue to be aware of a very limited number of users reporting skin irritation among our users. As the user base grows, we expect the number of reports to grow even though the overall incidence rate remains negligible.

'We continue to monitor this issue, as it impacts all companies that make products worn next to the skin, particularly the wearables industry as people tend to wear devices for long periods without giving their skin a break.'

This isn't the first time Fitbit users have reported skin rashes.

Last year, the company voluntarily recalled its Force wristband after nearly two per cent of users said they suffered skin irritations.

'The reactions we are seeing with new products are different from the allergic reactions we saw with Force, and are not uncommon with jewellery or wearable devices that stay in contact with the skin for extended periods,' Fitbit told DailyMail.com.

Force's housing and band were held together with adhesive, which was determined to be the cause of nearly all allergic reactions.

The company's newest products - the Charge, the Charge HR and the Surge - are held together with screws.

'We also significantly reduced the amount of surgical-grade stainless steel,' a spokesperson for Fitbit said.

'We have conducted extensive testing with laboratories and consulted with top dermatologists to develop stringent standards.'
FITNESS TRACKERS ARE NOT AS ACCURATE AS YOU THINK

This follows the results of a study which suggests wearables may not be as accurate as you think.

Researchers tested some of the most popular models, with participants taking part in a number of activities while wearing seven different bands.

The results showed the bands could be as much as 40 per cent off the mark when it comes to counting the number of calories burned by the wearer.

More than 70 million 'smart' wrist bands, chest straps, ankle trackers and sports watches were sold worldwide last year. And the number is only expected to increase.

That is why it is important to determine how accurate the monitors are assessing the energy burned by the wearer, Yang Bai, the lead researcher on the Iowa State University study said.

He asked more than 50 healthy participants, aged between 18 and 65, to choose three different activities of varying intensity.

Each performed 20 minutes of sedentary activity - such as reading, watching TV, typing - 25 minutes of aerobic exercise on a treadmill, and 25 minutes of resistance exercise, with five minutes of rest between each activity.

They wore Fitbit Flex, Polar Loop, Misfit Shine, Nike+Fuelband SE, Jawbone UP on the wrist, Actigraph GT3X+ on the waist, and BodyMedia Core on the left arm.

At the same time they were being monitored with the Oxycon Mobile, a portable system that measures calories burnt by analysing oxygen levels in exhaled breath.

Results showed the BodyMedia Core was the most accurate device, with the Fitbit Flex coming in second place. This supported a previous study which rated them as the two most accurate.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3495302/Woman-complains-unbearable-pain-caused-Fitbit-users-claim-left-BURNS.html

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