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Google Fit will allow you to use the mobile camera to measure heart and respiratory rates: without the need for a smart watch

Google has announced a number of new features for its Google Fit app. The company’s health and sports application will allow, starting next month directly use the mobile camera to record heart and respiratory rate of a person. Functions for which until now special sensors, a smart watch or similar devices were required.

According to Google, the two data reading functions are expected to go public next month. We will see this first on Pixel phones, which will receive the update in the coming weeks. Later, these Google Fit features will also affect other devices with Android 6 or higher. Of course, there is no date for this beyond “in the next few months.”

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With these two new features, it will be possible get useful data without having to have an additional device. Currently, smart watches, some quantifying bracelets or directly medical devices are responsible for measuring the heart or respiratory rate. With the arrival of Google Fit, it will be possible to obtain this data without the need to purchase an additional device.

Camera and AI

All that Google needs to collect this data is a series of mobile sensors and algorithms. And it is that the smartphone camera is responsible for collecting the data and then an AI processes it to better understand the user’s heart and respiratory rate.

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To take the heart rate with the mobile, the user must focus the camera on the fingertip. The camera detects the heartbeat using photoplethysmography. Here, the minor changes in the optical color of the blood let you know the changes in the blood volume. Google says the margin of error here is 2%.

Regarding the respiratory rate, the user must hold the front camera focusing on your head and chest, in the style of a selfie. From there, the camera records the rise and fall of the chest for 30 seconds. According to Google, the margin of error is one breath per minute.

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With that said, keep in mind that not a medical device certificate. Google says its idea is for these features to be used as wellness features, not medical ones. It does not offer additional advice on what to do with the data, nor does it ever compare to what a physician can offer. It must also be borne in mind that theory and practice do not always go hand in hand.

One way or another, can be extremely useful functions for those looking to take their heart or respiratory rate sporadically. For more advanced users, it may be more interesting to directly obtain a device dedicated to it, such as a smart watch, to have continuous and automatic recording.

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Street | Gizmodo
More information | Google

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