This is how they work and three apps that are worth trying.
How can these apps measure your heart rate?
Similar to the heart rate trackers built into most wearable fitness equipment, apps on your phone can measure your heart rate by measuring changes in heart rate. Blood volume below the surface of the skin – a practice called photoplethysmography.
Here's how it works: Every time your heart beats, the amount of blood that reaches the capillaries in your fingers and face swells up and then goes back. As blood absorbs light, apps can capture this ebb and flow by using the flash of your phone's camera to illuminate the skin and create a reflection.
How accurate are these heart rate tracking apps?
Although photoplethysmography is a proven method, not all heart rate tracking apps are the same. In a comparison of four with standard clinical gold measurements (ECG and fingertip pulse oximetry), the researchers found that the heart rate generated by apps differed by more than 20 beats per minute in over 20% of measurements.
The fact that heart rate apps do not always perform the same as clinical-grade devices is not too surprising – most, if not all, warn against medical use – but even within the apps there were some winners and losers ,
According to the study, apps that prompt you to touch your phone's built-in cameraare usually more accurate than those that merely prompt you to use your phone's camera in front of your face hold.
Conclusion: App readings should always be taken with a grain of salt. However, if you just want to get a comprehensive view of your heart rate over a longer period of time, you can barely beat the convenience of smartphone apps. In this sense, the following three finger-touch heart rate apps are listed, which consistently have the nose ahead.
Cardiology: Heart Rate Monitor
Based on a technology licensed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cardiio measures your heart rate in less than 15 seconds. If you need a reminder to measure your heart rate, turn on the built-in alarm and set it to daily, weekly, or monthly.
Use the free circuit training to get fit and improve your statistics. Then export your data to optimize your document. Cardiio is completely free – you do not even have to create an account. If you want to unlock additional features, pay them piece by piece (starting at $ 4.99) or upgrade to Pro for a one-time payment of $ 9.99. The app is also synced with Apple Health.
Price: Free for iOS with in-app purchases
Immediate heart rate: HR monitor
This app is a favorite of heart rate researchers (it was even used in the above-mentioned study). Like Cardiio, this heart rate monitor can be used for free, but almost everything else is behind a paywall for subscriptions ($ 9.99 per month or $ 59.55 per year).
It's not cheap, but what you get is pretty extensive: targeted health programs like "losing weight" and "getting active," a food protocol, healthy recipes, step challenges, manualand more. Synced with Apple Health and Google Fit.
Price: Free for iOS and Android with in-app purchases; € 1.99 for Windows
With the cardiograph you can measure your pulse at rest or in motion. You can tell the app what you are doing while you measure your pulse (rest, walk, run, etc.) so that the numbers are stored with an extra context in your health history. The app is synced with Apple Health and Android Wear – there is even a native version of the Apple Watch ($ 384 on Amazon) .
If you're using the Android version on a shared device, you can set up multiple profiles for family and friends. On iOS, you can use the iMessage extension of the app to send your heart rate to a loved one. The old version of this app – Cardiograph Classic – is still available for 99 cents, but the clear, intuitive design of the new version makes it well worth the price.
Price: Free for Android for in-app purchases; $ 1.99 for iOS
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a disease or health goals.