Google Pixel Phones can track your heart rate with the rear camera | measure Science & Tech News
Google is adding heart and breathing rate monitors to its new Pixel phones, using only the rear camera to measure users’ health.
It is planned that the function will be available on all Android devices in the future. The Fit app is used to monitor the ascent and descent of the chest when breathing in and out.
The heart rate monitor works similarly to a feature Samsung had earlier built into its Galaxy phones, although it was discontinued in favor of the better readings available through wearable devices.
Users have to put their finger on the rear-facing camera lens to see the color changes as blood pumps in and out of your digit.
The data is not comparable to that of a wearable device that can continuously monitor the wearer’s heart rate throughout the day.
Jack Po, product manager at Google Health, announced the features in a press conference, noting that doctors also count patients’ respiratory rates by watching their chests rise and fall.
The new feature in the Fit app requires a user to point the phone’s front-facing camera towards their head and chest and position themselves within the frame on the screen.
According to internal studies, the trait is accurate to one breath per minute for people with and without underlying diseases.
The heart rate monitoring system was accurate to within 2% and was tested on a range of skin tones.
The Google Health team plans to publish a scientific paper using the data from these reviews.
Before rolling out the feature to other Android devices, Google wants to study how well it works on these smartphones.
It is being marketed as a wellness app only, and not something that can perform any medical diagnostic function that would require regulatory approval, although there may be future reviews to do so, Po said.