Was browsing the App Store and saw apps with ridiculous claims like:
With the [redacted] medical app, you can check your heart rhythm in just one minute by placing your finger on your smartphone camera. Regular use supports the detection of cardiac arrhythmias, especially atrial fibrillation, to prevent a stroke.
or this one:
– Check your pulse
– Monitor your blood pressure
– Track your oxygen saturation
Apparently they use the camera to detect changes in color of your fingertip.
So, out of curiosity, I tried one of these apps. I’ve took measurements simultaneously with my iPhone and my Apple Watch.
Heart Rate got 97 BPM on the iPhone. Apple Watch reported 84 BPM.
Blood Oxygen was reported as being 100% on the iPhone app. Apple Watch said 96%.
Also, about the color-changing fingertip, I tried using another flashlight and shining it in the camera from multiple directions. That got my 97 BPM to 138 BPM.
What’s even weirder is that all of these have glowing reviews. And there’s also a bazillion of these apps on the App Store, many with adverts or paid content, and some even paid apps.
What happened to the tightly-managed, clean and curated App Store?
Edit: I don’t want to call these apps 100% fake because I’ve just learned that the technology exists. The bigger problem is that they’re marketed as accurate, reliable and life-changing, when they’re clearly not. Apple disappointed in making sure consumers are given true information and sure, I get that the developer would lose users if the suddenly put a big warning on the first screen of the app or in the description, but still Apple should’ve stepped in and make sure that bold claims like these don’t end up convincing uninitiated consumers who are going to pay big time for what’s the least reliable way to get your heart rate. Plus a couple lies here and there.