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Untouchable: Cardiio app reads heart rate from a stare

Untouchable: Cardiio app reads heart rate from a stare

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Scientists at MIT have developed an iPhone app that can measure your heart rate without you touching it.

Cardiio

Scientists at MIT have developed an iPhone app that can measure your heart rate without you touching it. All you have to do is stare--the app will use the iPhone's front-facing camera to take care of the rest. Named Cardiio and released by health startup Rock Health, the app takes users' heart rate by measuring the amount of light reflected off the face: an indicator of the amount of blood pumped to the face. More blood being pumped indicates a higher heart rate and results in less light reflected. Studies have shown that Cardiio measures heart rate within 3 beats per minute of standard devices.

In addition to using phone cameras as biosensors, the easy-to-use app has other features as well. It displays how your heart rate changes overtime throughout the day, week, and month. It also compares your average heart rate to that of the average person and elite athletes to help you get a better idea of what the numbers mean. The app allows users to set goals and gives them an idea of their life expectancy based on their average heart rate as well.

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Jenny Wilson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Jenny Wilson is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. She has written for Time.com and Swimming World Magazine and served stints at The American Prospect and The Atlantic Monthly magazines. She is currently pursuing a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure