Google Pixel Phones Get New Update That Lets Users Monitor Heart, Breathing Rates via Cameras

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Google Fit app for Pixel phones

Google Fit app for Pixel phones

The smartphone camera approach is more ad hoc – users who want to take a pulse place their finger over the lens, which catches subtle colour changes that correspond to blood flow.

Google is updating its Google Fit app for Pixel phones that will bring two new distinct health features. As a part of the update, Google Pixel phone users will be able to monitor heart rate via the primary rear camera, while they can also check their respiratory pattern through the selfie camera. As expected, the vitals will appear on the Google Fit app though the company cautions that the users with heart or respiratory problems must consult the local medical guide for professional advice. Google says that the Fit app for other Android phones will also receive the feature, though the company is yet to share more details.

The software giant had first announced the new health features for Google Fit for Pixel phones earlier last month. Google had explained that users can monitor heart rate by placing their index finger on the rear camera. The app measures the heart rate using a specific algorithm that relies on approximating the blood flow from colour changes in someone’s fingertip. The Google Fit app will require camera access to function. To measure the respiratory rate, users will need to use the front camera to place their head and upper torso for the AI to monitor breathing movements. All vitals will appear within the app.

Google has not exactly specified the roll-out date of the new health features for Pixel phones, though some media reports claim that they are rolling out now. As mentioned, these measurements are not meant for medical diagnosis or to evaluate medical conditions, but the software giant hopes that they can be useful for people using the Google Fit app to track and improve day-to-day wellness. The two new health features to monitor heart rate and breathing patterns via Google Fit app can be useful for many fitness enthusiasts as the phone does not require additional hardware to function. It also implies that the results on the app are not expected to be fully accurate.

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