We have covered a couple of iPhone apps here on auscultate but perhaps none of them as robust or as interesting as Cardiio. And while there seems to be no end to new Apps or mobile ways to check your heart rate, none seem to be as clever as Cardiio. Quite simply you download the app, point it at your face, and it provides you with an accurate heart rate. How, you ask?
Cardiio uses your phone’s front camera to analyze the amount of light reflected off of your face; it accurately measures your pulse without any extra hardware. Seriously, just hold your phone and look straight into the camera to get your reading. Then check out the dashboard to see how it changes over time.
I am a skeptic by nature and I have seen enough apps under-deliver. Before testing Cardiio I simply had a hard time believing what they said was true. So to offer up a litmus test I took my own pulse with my Philips Viridia 24C before testing the app. Surprisingly enough, the results were the same. Cardiio read my heart rate by watching the light reflected on my face. Once the measurement was accurate and consistent it displayed on the iPhone screen. I even had the option to save it for future reference.
One of the more amusing parts of the app is that I was then able to see how healthy my heart rate was and compare it to the rest of the country.
In short, that is pretty much all the app does. But for $4.99 it’s pretty awesome that you can get an accurate heart rate and fitness level just from a facial reading.
FEATURES OF THE APP INCLUDE:
• Touch-free, real-time heart rate measurements
• Beautiful and easy to use interface
• Personal dashboard with history (daily, weekly and monthly)
• Fitness level rating based on your heart rate
• Estimate your potential life expectancy
• See how your heart rate stacks up to others