Google fitness app to catch breath and heart rate

Maksut Gavaz

Maksut Gavaz

Leave your worries and smartwatch at home- Google is adding a new feature to the Google Fit app that will easily monitor your heart rate and respiratory rate!

Along with Google Fit’s qualities of tracking your bedtime schedule, trying various workouts and sharing your favorite activities, now you can track and increase your wellbeing.  The latest update of this app will enable you to measure your heart rate by holding your finger and lightly pressuring over the camera lenses for several seconds. It will be able to estimate your blood flow by following changes in the color of your fingers, with a system that considers external factors. In the meantime, you can measure your respiratory rate by leaning your phone against a stable surface so the camera captures your torso and head. Google Fit will track your chest movements while breathing and will look for anything worth concerning. The calculation of these two metrics is done completely on-device and in real-time, meaning that the video streams are not saved or uploaded on Google’s cloud. Yet, after every measurement you are asked if you want the result saved in Google Fit.

The interesting way in which this app functions is by offering a series of APIs for device and app manufacturers to stock and access data from the device’s sensors and fitness apps. All measurements are conducted on the user’s device and only the last result is saved on the server, if the user chooses to save it.

Even so, these new features operate through sensors and software which can track the user’s chest movement as they breathe. In addition, by focusing the camera on the user’s fingertip, it is able to notice heart beats through photoplethysmography (PPG), which detect blood volume changes.

However, Google pointed out that the purpose of these new features is not to diagnose medical conditions. The goal of this update is to encourage users to follow and improve their wellness and make advanced health equipment more reachable.

These new features of Google’s fitness app are rolling in on Pixel phones around the world, on Android devices in the near future, and ultimately onto the app for iOS devices.

Tell us your thoughts on this new update, we will for sure be waiting for them in the comments.

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