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Fitbit in healthcare partnership to take on Apple Watch

FILE PHOTO: The ticker symbol for Fitbit is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the NYSE

(Reuters) - Fitbit Inc <FIT.N> is developing a method to detect irregular heart rhythm in time through a partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance, as the wearable device maker looks to match a feature available on rival Apple Inc's <AAPL.O> Watch.

Fitbit has been pushing deeper into the healthcare space and in August tied up with the Singapore government to provide fitness trackers and services in a health program that the company said could reach up to one million users. (https://reut.rs/2TWAkpG)

Under Thursday's deal, the company's devices will carry software that will help detect atrial fibrillation - the most common type of irregular heartbeat - after approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Atrial fibrillation is a condition associated with irregular heart rhythm that increases the risk of stroke and is usually prevalent among people above 65 years of age.

About 2.7 million to 6 million people suffer from the condition in the United States, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.

(Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)