Heart rates were traditionally recorded using external hardware like sensors, cardiac monitors, chest straps, or counting pulses at the wrist in the olden times. Today’s smartphones, on the other hand, eliminate the need for heavy machinery or calculations.
When your heart beats, the volume of blood flowing through your fingertip changes. A heart rate monitoring app can detect this by capturing color changes in your fingertip with the camera on your phone. The heart rate is calculated using proprietary methods.
Let’s dig into how you can monitor your heart rate using a heart rate monitoring app.
What exactly do you mean when you say “heart rate”?
The amount of times your heart beats in a minute is known as your heart rate. The average heart rate of most healthy adults is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. When we are active, our hearts beat quicker to send more blood to our muscles, which raises our heart rate. During moments of stress, worry, or excitement, your heart rate will also rise. And, as you might expect, our hearts beat more slowly when we are relaxed.
What is a heart rate monitoring app?
While a smartwatch, heart rate device, and fitness tracker can monitor your heart rate, you can now also use an app to check heart rate.
When utilizing one of these iOS, Android, or Windows apps, no additional hardware is necessary because it uses its built-in camera and lighting to detect a heartbeat by scanning the user’s finger or face and measuring blood flow. It may seem unusual, but it works and is reasonably accurate for estimating your average heart rate.
These apps can track your heart rate in a variety of ways.
Apps on your phone can measure your heart rate by detecting changes in blood volume beneath the skin’s surface, similar to the heart rate trackers built into most fitness wearables. It is known as photoplethysmography.
The way it works is that the volume of blood that enters the capillaries in your fingers and face swells and then recedes with each heartbeat. Because blood absorbs light, apps that use the flash of
your phone’s camera to highlight the skin and produce a reflection can capture this ebb and flow.
How reliable are these heart-rate monitor apps?
Although photoplethysmography is a tried-and-tested technique, not all heart rate monitoring applications employ the same approach.
Researchers have proven that the heart rate readings provided by several apps were inaccurate by more than 20 beats per minute in over 20% of observations compared to clinical gold standard measurements (ECG and fingertip pulse oximetry).
Although it’s not unexpected that heart rate apps don’t always function (and clinical-grade equipment most, if not all, advise against medical use), there were some winners and losers even within the apps.
Applications that require you to touch your finger to your phone’s built-in camera are more accurate, according to the study, than apps that ask you to hold your phone’s camera up to your face.
Although you must take app readings with a grain of salt, smartphone applications are unreliable if you are looking for an accurate overview of your heart rate over time.
Best Heart Rate Monitoring Apps
Three heart rate monitors comparison:
1. Welltory App
With the Welltory Heart Rate and Stress Monitor app, you can track your heartbeat within minutes. It is an intelligent health tracking app with over 2 million users that monitors your heart rate and stress levels. Connect data from your other gadgets and applications to see fitness and lifestyle trends.
TechCrunch, Product Hunt, and Lifehacker have all listed this app as one of the best heart rate tracking applications. Welltory App is free and you can download it easily. Two auto-renewing memberships are available to upgrade to Welltory – Pro: $12.99 per month and $79.99 per year ($6.67 per month).
Here are a few features of the application.
- Your Apple Watch fitness data will yield fresh insights.
- For day-to-day data heart rate tracking, connect to one of the 120+ supported data sources.
- Keep track of your training results.
- There are more than 30 exams on cognitive abilities, mental health, and personality.
- The day’s events are summarized in daily reports.
2. Instant Heart Rate
The Instant Heart Rate app begins with simple instructions for tracking your heart rate. It can detect your pulse by gently resting your finger on the camera lens.
After it detects your heart rate, the stats are displayed immediately. They can better adjust your beats per minute by knowing your age and gender. This software will show you how your heart progresses toward your goals, whether you want to control your stress or live a healthy lifestyle.
For users with diabetes, Instant Heart Rate additionally has a collection of instructive health information.
- More than 35 million people have downloaded the app.
- Your heart rate is displayed in real-time on a graph.
- Place your finger over the camera of your device for quick and easy reading.
- If you want, you can export the data.
- Save your information.
3. Heart Graph
Heart Graph not only displays your current heart rate but also allows you to track how it evolves. You can use it to determine how your body reacts to training. For several months, track your heart rate before, during, and after training, as well as first thing in the morning, to monitor how your heart rate improves with exercise.
Examine how changes in your heart rate can signal when you’re about to get sick or overworked. Make a note of training trends, share your workout statistics with pals, and rotate your phone to landscape mode to optimize the screen surface for graphs.
- While you’re using other apps, record your HR in the background.
- Integrates with the Health app and allows you to review exercises offline and share your findings.
- In-app purchases for premium features or ad-free use are available for a small fee.
Compare, evaluate, and download the most promising heartbeat monitoring apps to lead a healthy lifestyle.