A few weeks back, Google teased two new Pixel-exclusive features coming soon to Google Fit that help people without a fancy sports watch or band keep track of a couple of health items. Using cameras in Google Pixel phones, Google found a way to track both heartrate and respiratory rate. On Monday (March 8), those features will start to go live.
In case you missed that bit of news, the features will work as follows.
- For heartrate, you’ll fire open Google Fit, tell it to check for your heart rate (there could be a card showing this), and then follow the directions that ask you to full cover a camera lens with your fingertip as it reads your pulse. The results will appear on screen once finished, allowing you to add the measurement to your Google Fit profile or to measure again.
- For respiratory rate, you’ll fire open Google Fit, hit the “track your respiratory rate” button, and then prop your phone up so that it can capture your body from the waist up. When in the right position, the front camera will watch your chest movements to calculate the respiratory rate (or breaths per minute). You can then save that measurement as well. Try to remove hats and masks when running this.
Google is clear to point out that these measurements are not intended for medical purposes. Instead, you should probably just use these measurements to help give you a sense for your health and watch for trends over time in Google Fit, but always talk to your doctor if you have health concerns or questions.
To start, Google is rolling these out through Google Fit on its Pixel phones, like the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G, but they plan to give other Android phones access in the future.
Google Play Link: Google Fit
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