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Google Fit learns to measure breathing and heart rate using a smartphone camera

Google has announced new features coming soon to the Google Fit app. We are talking about the ability to measure the rate of respiration and heart rate using a camera of a mobile device and machine learning algorithms.

Smartphones have become indispensable everyday tools for people all over the world. Thanks to the built-in sensors, they can be used to determine vital functions, help monitor health and well-being. Heart rate and respiratory rate are two very important metrics that are commonly used to assess human health. They can be measured and tracked in the Google Fit app. To do this, you need to position the smartphone so that the head and upper body are in the field of view of the front camera.

To measure the breathing rate, the user must look into the camera and breathe normally. At this point, the application records a video, after which machine learning algorithms analyze body movements and calculate the breathing rate. To measure your heart rate, you need to touch the camera lens on the back of your smartphone. It uses a method similar to the photoplethysmogram. It’s worth noting that for more accurate readings, the algorithms take into account factors such as lighting, skin tone, age, and more.

Google notes that such measurements are not intended for medical diagnostics or disease assessment, but to some extent they can be useful for people who use Google Fit. After the respiration and heart rate are measured, the data is saved in the app so that users can track their dynamics over time. The company said that both functions have passed the initial clinical studies, so they can be used in different conditions by all, without exception.

The new features will start working in Google Fit starting next month. They will be available initially to Pixel smartphone owners, and then the company will begin rolling out them to more Android devices.

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