Check your Respiratory rate and Heart rate using Google Fit

Check heart rate and respiratory rate using Google Fit

Google has released new health features for Pixel users this month. Heart rate and respiratory rate are two vital signs commonly used to assess your health and wellness and have been made available on Google Pixel and will soon be made available on other Android devices.

These new features for Pixel users are available via the Google Fit app on the smartphone starting this week.

Related Reading

Checking Heart Rate using Google Fit

Here’s how you can check your heart rate on your phone

  • Open Google Fit app on your phone
  • Tap on the ‘Get started’ link in the ‘Check your heart rate’ section
  • Allow permissions
  • Place your fingertip fully over the camera
  • Wait for the process to completeChecking Heart rate using Google Fit
  • Your heart rate will be shown in the next screen following the “Measurement complete” message

Checking Respiratory Rate using Google Fit

Checking your respiratory rate requires the use of the front camera on your Pixel. From the Google Fit app,

  • Tap on the ‘Get started’ link in the Track your Respiratory rate sectionCheck Respiratory Rate using Google Fit
  • Allow Permissions
  • Point the front camera on your face and chest and breathe
  • Once the process is complete it shows you the respiratory rate

These new health features on the Pixel phone were announced by Google last month and are being made available to Pixel devices starting this week.

Wearables vs smartphone for tracking respiratory rate

A single heart rate or respiratory rate reading may not provide any real value. Users find value when looking at the trend lines over a period, especially for respiratory rate. This is why using a wearable that continuously monitors your heart rate and respiratory rate may be more useful.

Wearables such as WHOOP measure respiratory rate while you are sleeping. 

WHOOP reports the median respiratory rate during sleep. The device calculates respiratory rate from heart rate data by taking advantage of a phenomenon known as respiratory sinus arrhythmia.

Not only is Respiratory rate a good indicator of cardiovascular fitness and load, it is also a remarkably stable metric. When it does change, however, that change tends to be meaningful. An increase in respiratory rate could mean that you are coming down with something.

If you plan on using your Pixel to track your respiratory rate, you may want to set up a daily reminder of sorts so that you can measure it at a specific time daily and remember to add it into your Google Fit log, which is the option that you get when the measurement is complete.

According to Google, the video streams used for measuring your heart rate and respiratory rate are fully processed in real-time on your device. This means they are neither stored on your device nor uploaded to Google servers. With each measurement you have the option of saving your result to Google Fit, so you can monitor your trends over time.

Update your Pixel and Google Fit app and get started with these new Google Health features!

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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