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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Check your standing pulse rate with an Android or iPhone

31

January

If you've seen a doctor recently you know most modern medical offices use a pulse oximeter to measure your standing pulse rate and the oxygen saturation in your blood. screen_shot_2011-01-31_at_11.10.53_am.pngThe pulse oximeter is a little device with LED lights that clamps onto the end of your finger. It uses color changes in the light passing through your finger to make its measurement.

And now, using your iPhone or Android, you can measure your pulse rate at home using the Instant Heart Rate app.

When I first read the description for this app I was sure it was one of those ones that estimated your pulse rate. I mean, how can a Smartphone measure your pulse? Well, because the camera and LED light can be used in much the same way as that little clip they put on your finger at the doctor's office, you can get a pretty accurate reading by just pressing your finger against your phone's camera lens for about 15 seconds. It's that easy.

Due to a recent knee surgery, I've been in quite a few doctor's offices over the last few days. This morning I decided to show the app to my doctor and did a test to see how accurate it was compared to the reading they took with their pulse oximeter. The reading from the app was just one beat away.

The app not only measures your pulse but it also shows you an EKG-like PPG graph (blip graph) and beeps with every beat. You can save your readings to create a history chart which can be exported to email. You also can share your readings using email, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. A target heart rate zone calculator also is included.

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This would be a great tool for anyone who needs to monitor their pulse rate on a regular basis and would be especially good for runners and people doing cardio training who are trying to track and hit their target heart rates.

[Last modified: Monday, January 31, 2011 11:30am]

    

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