Tech Tuesday: Tracking your body with technology

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by SHANNON POWELL HART

WFAA

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 25 at 1:15 PM

This is something the technology world has been seeing for some time. There are more and more apps to help us monitor our bodies, life, mood and even diet. 

An app called Instant Heart Rate uses your phone's camera to measure your pulse rate. It is quick and some say pretty accurate.

The phone app is free, but you can also purchase a more advanced version. There are different ones for the iPad or tablets, but you can use the one for the phone on your tablet too.

It is easy to operate. Download the app. Then place your index finger over the camera, which lights up. Make sure your fingertip completely covers the camera, but don't press too hard.

It takes about 10 seconds to get a reading.

Instant Heart Rate uses the camera to detect pulse by tracking color changes in the light that passes through your finger. You can see your every heart beat.

Then it will tell you if your heart rate is high or normal. You can save this information.

Another app deals with your stress level. While your ticker may be fine, your stress level may be different.

The stress check takes about two minutes. 

This is a free app too. Once you download it, you place your finger over the camera.

This time the camera measures your heart rate by detecting the time between each heartbeat and calculate what's called the heart rate variability or HRV.

So, if there is more variability in the time between heartbeats, then your stress level is low.

Once your level is complete then you are given the results.

I read this only measures your HRV, which is a physiological factor. Which means it is possible that your emotional level of stress is high, while your physiological symptoms remain normal.

Of course this DOES NOT replace your doctor, but it kinda gives you a slight idea of what might be going on.

There are hundreds of apps and tools available to track different aspects of your life, from mood to diet or even your sleeping habits.

E-mailspowell@wfaa.com

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