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Google can track your Heart rate (and your breath rate too) using just your 1 good rear camera – Here’s How, and Why (Blog)

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Your Pixel Phone can track your heart and breathing rate

Google Fit has been packed with a new feature to track your heart rate and respiratory rate. Today we will learn about how it is done and why Google took this step.

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Google is the big boss when it comes to innovative technology in the world of Android and beyond. They have successfully engulfed and expanded their business empire over the years, and now, none stands over Google in terms of supremacy. Google is now one of the decision-makers in the world of technology, and the way they are increasing the influence over other brands, it doesn’t seem like they will stay put so soon.

Their tracking heart rate and breath rate is also part of that expansion, unfortunately. They want more data about the users to profit from and want to keep the users’ health conditions in their hands to play a big role in manipulating the health market. The games of Google regarding the health sector are not the first this time. Earlier, too, they had high hopes regarding the use of technology to store the health info of the customers, which failed miserably. This time, it is under the disguise of an improved feature of the Pixel Phones.

Google puts ‘track your heart rate’ program like this:

“Take a pulse on health and wellness with your phone”

How will Google track your heart rate and breathing rate?

To measure your respiratory rate, you need to place your head and upper torso, given your phone’s front-facing camera and breathe normally. To measure your heart rate, place your finger on the rear-facing camera lens. And just like that, Google can track your heart rate.

Thanks to increasingly powerful sensors and advances in computer vision, these features let you use your smartphone’s camera to track tiny physical signals at the pixel level — like chest movements to measure your respiratory rate and subtle changes in the colour of your fingers for your heart rate.

Will these features work in real-life working conditions?

We developed both features — and completed initial clinical studies to validate them — so they work in various real-world conditions and for as many people as possible. For example, since our heart rate algorithm relies on approximating blood flow from colour changes in someone’s fingertip, it has to account for factors such as lighting, skin tone, age, and more to work for everyone.

Why did Google take this step?

While these measurements aren’t meant for medical diagnosis or to evaluate medical conditions, we hope they can be useful for people using the Google Fit app to track and improve day-to-day wellness. Once the measurements are made, you can choose to save them in the app to monitor trends over time, alongside other health and wellness information.

With continued advances in hardware and software, sometimes the device that could be most helpful to your health and wellness is already in your pocket. Our team of researchers, engineers, and clinicians is exploring how everyday devices and inexpensive sensors can give people the information and insights they need to take control of their health. 

Google has also mentioned names like Dr David Feinberg, Dr Karen DeSalvo to help them in these like ‘track your heart rate’ advancements they like to call “The Check-Up”.

Final Words of Google can Track your Heart Rate

The measurement of Heart Rate and Breathing Rate using smartwatches isn’t new, but using the device you use daily and keeping it with you is always a new start. Kudos to Google!

But we also sincerely hope they bring it to other Android Smartphones as well. Google never fails to amaze us, so the only thing that may stop them is the malfunction of the feature, which is very less likely to happen. Maybe Google can actually track your heart rate. Who knows!

Till then, keep breathing.

Md Ashfak Faysal

Md Ashfak Faysal

I only search for one keyword - 'Tech'.

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