Measuring Vital Signs

In recent months, this blog has been captivated by mobile applications, however its impossible not to be given the mind blowing capacity they are delivering to the classroom.

The Vital Signs App by Phillips (only for iPad), allows for remote heart and breathing rate analysis. Simply place an iPad 2 on a table in a well lit room , place your face inside the box on screen and the app will go to work to determine your heart rate and breathing rate.

How is this possible you might ask, well heart rate is actually completed quite easily by comparing the tiny changes in colour of your face which occurs as a result of capillary refill. The measurement of breathing rates occur via simply counting the rise and fall of the users chest. Check out the video below


So how accurate is it? Well to be honest the results from my tests in comparison with a Polar Heart Rate monitor were excellent, the app usually placed me within one or two heart beats. However the problem with measuring breathing rate is that reactivity is likely to occur, in that users will begin breathing less naturally, the more they think about it, ultimately effecting their result. However this is only usually a small impact and more noticeable during complete rest.

Use in the classroom?

  1. Incorporate the iPad into a station during circuit training and have students assess their cardiorespiratory response
  2. Discuss the acute responses to exercise in a class
  3. Fix the iPad to a wall during practical sessions for students to check their associated work rates
  4. Contrast two students to determine the effect training has on their results



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