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Upon first hearing of this application I was extremely interested in seeing how it worked and indeed if it did work. The Instant Heart Rate Android app may at first seem like a gag, for a deceptive product. However, while this application is not suited to, or intended to be used as a medical product, or during medical procedures, it does work as described and intended. Additionally this application does not require an extreme degree of technical knowledge, medical knowledge, or inconvenience to the user. Instant Heart Rate works most efficiently if your mobile phone happens to have a flash for its camera.
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Using Instant Heart Rate
Instant Heart Rate uses your mobile phone's camera and flash. A working camera is required, but a working flash is optional. It also requires a strong source of light but it does not matter if this light is natural or artificial. An indicator will tell you how much light is required.
The user places a finger over the camera aperture of their mobile phone and brings their finger on the phone into a strong source of light. The user's heart rate will then be displayed and updated in real time so long as the user's finger remains over the camera aperture and sufficient light is given. How it works is extremely simple and very elegant. The application is taking a sample of blood flow through the finger via its color and extrapolates the results for the user.
Instant Heart Rate has a revolving advertisement bar at the bottom of the screen which can be turned off from the settings menu. The entire application is extremely simple and straightforward and will be perfect for anyone needing a quick method to check their heart rate. When the application is running it is not a drain on battery power or system resources in any significant matter.
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There is significant debate on whether or not this application actually functions as a heart rate monitor, at this time I saw no reason to believe it was fraudulent or misleading. Is this application a revolution for the Android platform? Probably not. As a technical demonstration it's quite notable and able to do the job without a lot of programming, questionable, or odd methods of function. Instant Heart Rate is a program that works exactly as intended and described. While interesting and unique it is not an application that you will use very frequently. It is an interesting idea and a true example of what Google Android is capable of, however, I can't help but say this application may only be used a few times, and left as a technical demonstration. Instant Heart Rate is available at the Android Market and is a free download.
If you want some real medical apps check out our guide to the Best Android Medical Software.