Google’s Pixel phones will soon be able to track heart rate and respiratory rate using just the camera. The feature will be made available in Google Fit app for Pixel phones, the company announced in a blog post. The feature will be expanded to more Android phones in the future, but it is not specified which devices will get this next.
Google Fit already uses smartphone sensors to figure out how far people walk or how many calories they have burned, but new features rolling out to Google Pixel phones will add pulse and breathing to health data crunched by the app.
Sensors and software that make it possible to take stunning photos with smartphones or automatically adapt the streaming video to how handsets are held can be used to sense respiration and heartbeat, according to Google health technologies team leader Shwetak Patel.
How will this New Feature of Google Fit work?
Google says users will just have to place their head and upper torso in view of the phone’s front-facing camera and breathe normally. This will be used to measure the respiratory rate in the Google Fit app. For the heart rate measurement, users will simply need to place their finger on the rear-facing camera lens.
The process used to detect heart rate is called photoplethysmography (PPG), which usually is picked up using specialised sensors.
It will use the smartphone camera to detect specific colour changes in the fingertip that happen when freshly oxygenated blood flows from your heart through your body.
Google said its algorithm is said to be accurate within one breath per minute on average on both groups. These features are also comparable to clinical-grade devices.
“We developed both features — and completed initial clinical studies to validate them — so they work in a variety of real-world conditions and for as many people as possible.”
Google’s approach is certainly a unique one, given that heart-rate tracking typically requires a dedicated sensor on wearable fitness devices such as smartwatches and bands.
The blogpost adds that users can choose to save these measurements in the app “to monitor trends over time, alongside other health and wellness information.”
While this is certainly a new and unique feature to make its way to an Android smartphone, keep in mind that this is not designed for medical evaluation purposes, but rather for general, daily health. Further, the accuracy of the feature will still have to test once it starts rolling out to Pixel phones.
you can read more about the feature on Indianexpress