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Google Pixel phones to get new health-tracking abilities next month #Englishheadline

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Starting next month, you won’t need a smartwatch or fitness tracker if you’ve got a
phone in hand.

Thanks to an update coming to the Google Fit app, Pixel owners will be able to use the app, in conjunction with the phone’s cameras, to closely measure and monitor health metrics like heart and respiratory rates. 

While the new features will roll out first to Pixel phones specifically, it’s not exclusive to the line of devices. Google does plan to expand these new health features to more Android devices in the future, though it’s unclear when.

Currently, you can track workouts and monitor your movement throughout the day with the Google Fit app using just your Android phone. The new update leverages sensors that already exist in smartphones — the accelerometer, camera, and microphone — to allow users to track more in-depth data.

To measure respiratory rate, the Google Fit app will use the phone’s front-facing camera sensor. All you’ll have to do is prop the phone up in front of you, position yourself within the frame, and hold still while it takes a reading by detecting any minor changes in movement on your chest. At the end of each measurement, you’ll see your breaths per minute.

It's as easy as simply standing in front of the camera.

It’s as easy as simply standing in front of the camera.

Measuring heart rate, on the other hand, uses the rear camera. When you place your finger on the lens, an algorithm determines approximate blood flow in your fingertip (similar to a pulse oximeter used at a doctor’s office). The app will also incorporate factors like skin tone, age, and lighting for a more proper reading.

Of course, in its blog post, Google does mention that “these measurements aren’t meant for medical diagnosis or to evaluate medical conditions.” They’re more so meant to help make it easier to keep an eye on your vitals everyday. 

But you can save the measurements to the app and monitor trends over time. That way, in case you do spot anything that seems off, you can show the results to your doctor. You know, to get a second opinion before allowing any panic to set in.

WATCH: Finally take pictures on your Apple Watch with Wristcam

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