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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Google Fit now lets you measure your vitals using your iPhone’s camera

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Google has released a major update to its Google Fit for iOS app. This update enables iPhone users to measure their heart rate and respiratory rate simply by using their iPhones’ cameras. It also enables them to measure their vitals even when they are out of network coverage area, in other words, when they are offline. Also Read – Microsoft pulls out of in-person presence at CES 2022 amid Covid concerns

According to a report by 9To5 Google, Google has rolled out a new feature on its Google Fit for iOS app that enables iPhone users to measure their heart rate by placing their fingers on the rear-facing camera lens and applying light pressure. Users can also turn on the flash to increase the accuracy in a dimly-lit environment. Alternatively, they can also place their hands and their iPhones in front of a light source. Also Read – How to transfer all your passwords from Apple to Android

The company is reportedly using changes in the colour of users’ fingers to measure the blood flow. The heart rate algorithm also takes into account a host of other factors including skin tone, age and lightning among other things. The entire process takes around 30 seconds to measure, post which the preview graph and Blood Pressure measurements appear at the bottom of the screen in the app. Once the app has shown results, users can decide if they want to record the measured vitals in the app or not. Also Read – CES 2022: Now Google, Intel, GM, Lenovo cancel plans amid rising Covid-19 cases

The best part about this feature is that it doesn’t require the app to interact with Google’s servers for processing data. Simply said, it works even if there is no internet connection or if the iPhone is in offline mode.

Measuring respiratory rate

Coming to the respiratory measurements, the publication says that Google Fit’s iOS app uses iPhone’s FaceID cameras to measure breaths taken per minute. All users need to do is place their iPhones on a stable surface such that their heads and their torsos are clearly visible via the phone’s front camera. Just like the heart rate measurements, the process takes around 30 seconds, during which time the Google Fit app calculates the users’ respiratory rate by measuring the chest movements using computer vision tracking technology.

It is worth noting, Google had first introduced this feature on Android phones. Now, almost a year later, the company is rolling out support for these features in its iOS app. That said, Google explicitly cautions its users that the measurements made by the app are “not intended for medical purposes and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition.”

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