The tech giant Google has announced the release of new health features to its Fit app for the Pixel smartphone. The phones can now read your heart rate and respiratory rate using their cameras. However, Google Fit already uses the Android phone’s camera sensor to keep a tab on activities such as walking or how many calories the users have burned. But the newly upgraded fitness app will be able to measure heart rate and respiration using Google Pixel phones camera sensors. Both of the features will help people take control of their health with the help of information and insights it will provide.
While announcing the upgrade to Google Fit the company said, “Heart rate and respiratory rate are two vital signs commonly used to assess your health and wellness. Starting next month, Google Fit will allow you to measure your heart rate and respiratory rate using just your phone’s camera. These features will be available in the Google Fit app for Pixel phones, with plans to expand to more Android devices.”
These interesting features will be rolled out to Google Fit starting next month and the company also plans to expand to more Android devices other than Pixel phones. According to the blog post, one only needs to place their head and upper torso in view of your phone’s front-facing camera and breathe normally to measure the respiratory rate. On the other hand, to read your heart rate all one needs to do is simply place their finger on the rear-facing camera lens. Once the measurements are made, you can choose to save them in the app to monitor trends over time, alongside other health and wellness information.
However, it should be noted that these readings are not meant for any medical diagnosis or to evaluate medical conditions but to use these features to track and improve day-to-day wellness using the Google Fit app.
As per the blog post, “Thanks to increasingly powerful sensors and advances in computer vision, these features let you use your smartphone’s camera to track tiny physical signals at the pixel level — like chest movements to measure your respiratory rate and subtle changes in the colour of your fingers for your heart rate.”
Google has developed and the initial clinical studies of both the features have been performed in order to be sure if they work in a variety of real-world conditions and for as many people as possible. As it is mentioned above a slight change in the colour of fingers will help to monitor heart rate the company further explained that since our heart rate algorithm relies on approximating blood flow from colour changes in someone’s fingertip, it has to account for factors such as lighting, skin tone, age and more in order to work for everyone.
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