Detect Heart Rate With iPhone Camera — #HITsm Chat Discovery

This is the continuation of the #HITsm Tweet Chat Highlights series. 

I am pretty starry eyed with all of the #telehealth innovations these days. Anyone check out MIT’s Cardiio ap on the iPhone? #HITsm

— Melody Smith Jones (@MelSmithJones) August 24, 2012 

The Cardiio app gets your heart rate from your iPhone camera. #HITsm

— Melody Smith Jones (@MelSmithJones) August 24, 2012

I’ve heard of mobile apps that detect heart rate, but Cardiio (yes, with two eyes) seems pretty cool. First off, it doesn’t require any special equipment. Secondly, it seems so simple to use. As this tweet says, it measures your heart rate from your iPhone camera.  You just look into the camera (it has to be an iPhone 4S…sorry early generation-ers), and the user’s heart rate is shown quickly. It also has a “personal dashboard” feature. Here, the user can see a visualization of their heart rate at different times during the day, week, and month. The app also analyzes your heart rate to create a “fitness level” based on an averaging of the past seven days. It creates a “life expectancy” estimate, and compares your stats to the rest of the world. While I’m not sure I want to see what this app says my fitness level is, or see my predicted dying age, it’s a pretty awesome app from what I can see. If only it wasn’t just for the iPhone, I’d be downloading it right now. I was curious about how this works, so luckily the website for Cardiio explains it:

Every time your heart beats, more blood is pumped into your face. This slight increase in blood volume causes more light to be absorbed, and hence less light is reflected from your face. Using sophisticated software, your iPhone’s front camera can track these tiny changes in reflected light that are not visible to the human eye and calculate your heart beat!

It is $4.99, but considering no fancy gadgets are required for it to work (well, beyond the iPhone 4S), that’s a price I’d be willing to pay. Download it for the iPhone here.

Download here

About the author

Katie Clark

Katie Clark

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

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