Xiaomi Mi Band 4 | Image source: Xiaomi

Xiaomi Mi Health can read your heart rate via the smartphone camera

Xiaomi Mi Health has received an update that enables tracking a user’s heart rate via the smartphone camera. Launched last year, the app offers more advanced functionality than the tech giant’s current software.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

The Xiaomi Mi Fit app tracks your daily activity and sleep. Its aim is to keep you motivated while exercising and encourage healthy lifestyle habits. The software supports Mi Band, Amazfit Bip, Mi Body Composition Scale, Mi Scale, Amazfit Pace and a number of other devices.

Mi Fit app gets a huge design overhaul with version 4.0.0
Mi Fit app | Image source: Xiaomi

The Mi Health app was first spotted in 2019 in the MIUI China Developer 9.7.23 beta build by XDA Developers. They pulled together a few screenshots. You can see the app’s logo in the second of these.

Mi Health is Xiaomi’s health and fitness app in the making
Mi Health app | Image source: XDA Developers

As can be seen from the images, the new software shares many of the features of the Mi Fit app. You can use it to track your steps, distance, calories, sleep and more. The biggest difference is the addition of advanced sleep metrics and the ability to track menstruation cycles. The latter was probably prompted by similar functionality introduced recently by a number of companies such as Apple, Fitbit and Garmin.

Whats more, Mi Fit will also dish out an overall Health Score. This is based on your daily activity, sleep and BMI (Body Mass Index). It will then use this info to suggest tweaks to your daily exercise goals.

Monitoring heart rate via the smartphone camera

The software has gone through several iterations since it appeared last year. This new update bumps it up to version 2.7.4. It is currently being tested by specific MIUI users.

Once again, courtesy of XDA Developers we have some details on what is new. The latest software refresh slaps on the ability to monitor a user’s heart rate via the smartphone camera. There’s a new section in the app dedicated to this.

To initiate the functionality users will need to press a red button at the bottom of the screen. They’ll be asked to block the camera and flash on the smartphone with a finger. The AI will then start recording the heart rate. You are meant to keep recording until the progress bar reaches 100%.

Here’s a short video illustrating the new functionality.

After the reading is taken you’ll have the chance the tag the reading with one of the following: general state, resting state, and after exercise. Thereafter, a report will be accessible that illustrates whether you have a slow, normal, or fast heart rate.

Most wearables these days have a heart rate sensor but many people still stick by their devices from a couple of years ago. Some of these do not have built-in heart rate monitoring so the new functionality will find some use.

Public release date

No word yet on a possible public release date on Mi Health. It is also not clear whether the new app will replace the old one, or if the two will live side by side.

If you would like to do a test run of Mi Health, the APK is available on this link. Installation is a bit tricky unless you know what you are doing. We suggest, therefore, waiting it out until Xiaomi makes the software official.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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