With more and more people starting to focus on their health condition, smartphone brands keep making effort to research on health management apps. Google has announced that they will add heart and respiratory rate monitors to the Fit app on Pixel phones this month. What’s more, both features will be added to other Android phones in the near future.
How do them work?
Google Fit on Pixel will be able to measure your respiratory and heart rate without any extra hardware or app. It only uses the devices’ existing camera. When measuring respiratory rate, the number of breaths someone takes per minute, you will be asked to place the phone’s front-facing camera at your head and chest. It will track the movement of your chest down to the pixel level to determine the frequency of your breath. This process will only take 30 seconds.
To measure heat rate, you need to put your fingertip over the rear-facing camera. It will track tiny changes in the color of your fingers to determine your heart rate. And no need to worry about less precise due to dark skin tones. Google has tested this feature on people with a range of skin tones. Whether light or dark skin, it has a similar accuracy. It sounds like fantasy. This is what we can’t do with our eyes.
But these features can’t perform as medical diagnosis or to evaluate medical conditions. Just because of this, they don’t have to get FDA clearance before adding these features on Pixel phones.
Why do we need them?
These are not new features on digital devices. A lot of smartwatches and smart bracelets had these functions years before. But it isn’t everyone can afford them. Now almost everyone has a smartphone. Adding these two features on smartphone is a significant improvement, which means that more people can approach these methods to measure their health condition in their daily life. Although heart rate data from Google’s app will be less comprehensive than the types of readings someone could get from a wearable device, which can continuously monitor something like heart rate, it’s a useful tool that can check in on these metrics on demand.
I don’t have a plan to get a latest Pixel at present, so I’m looking forward that these features appear on more Android phones and an update for my hand-on Huawei Mate 30 Pro.
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