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Best Heart Rate Apps That Developers Can Learn From

Originally Posted By Sean Keung  | March 13, 2015  | 8-min read
Abs on August 17, 2020  
Heart rate apps - Appy Pie

Every 37 seconds, an American has a heart attack.

Heart disease or cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Almost 18 million people die due to heart disease globally.

The good news is that it is possible to control heart disease with the help of:

  • Early detection using health monitoring devices and heart monitor apps
  • Better counseling for improving patient lifestyle
  • Medication for diabetes, hypertension, and other high-risk factors.

As Dr. Aaron L. Baggish, associate director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at Harvard University’s affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital says, “Whether you’re just getting started with an exercise routine or are a committed fitness enthusiast, tracking your heart rate can help you maintain the necessary moderate level of intensity for optimal benefits without worrying about doing too much or too little.”

Appy Pie - Heart Rate Apps


Easy access to smartphones, smartwatches, and internet technology, have made maintaining a healthy lifestyle, monitoring heart parameters and fitness convenient.

Cardiologists around the world are realizing the positive impact of technology and heart rate monitor apps for better heart health. Dr. Jonn A. Osborne, (MD, Ph.D.) director of preventive cardiology at Dallas Medical Center in Texas opines, “I believe that mobile apps have helped many patients think about their heart status and cardiovascular health awareness.”

As the awareness for better monitoring with mobile applications is rising there has been a substantial increase in the number of mobile health applications. Presently, there are more than 100,000 mobile health apps available for download on iTunes and Google Play. These mobile applications include pulse rate apps and monitors, fitness trackers, atrial fibrillation, and heart rate apps free for download for android or iOS.

Here is a helpful video that will teach you how easy it is to add the fitness feature into your app

(Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

There are thousands of heart-monitoring applications available at the tip of your fingers. But unfortunately, not all applications are reliable or trustworthy. This is primarily due to the lack of knowledge among developers on what features are absolutely critical for a heart disease app.

Points to remember while creating your heart rate app

As a mobile app developer, if you are looking to develop the best heart rate monitor app, you need to keep in mind the features that are extremely essential for the most accurate heart rate monitor. Make sure you include these important elements to your app to have a shot at being the best heart rate app; an app that can improve and save lives.

  • Measure heartbeat
  • Measure beats per minute (BPM)
  • Measure heart rate training zones (Rest, Fat Burn, Cardio, and Peak)
  • Measure pulse zone in less than 15 seconds
  • Create a PPG graph which is similar to an ECG / EKG / Cardiograph
  • Provide Cardio workout monitoring during exercise
  • Provide reports of pre-workout and post-workout cardiovascular measurements
  • Doesn’t require heart straps or other external equipment
  • Auto-share heartbeat details with friends, family, or doctors

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Best Heart Rate Apps

Here are the best heart rate monitor apps available for download. Read on to get an insight into their features, pros & cons, and usage.

  1. Instant Heart Rate
  2. The Instant Heart Rate is considered to be one of the best heart rate apps, a benchmark of mobile heart rate apps by individual users, doctors, research institutions in almost nine different countries.

    The UCSF—University of California San Francisco uses the Instant Heart Rate App for:

    • Cardiology research training
    • Health eHeart Study.

    Here’s a simple guide on how to take heart rate using the Instant Heart Rate App:

    • Hold your finger on the phone’s camera to show the resting heart rate
    • The app captures color changes on your fingertips to measure the blood circulation<>/li
    • A sophisticated algorithm calculates the heartbeat.


    • Displays a precise reading of BPM, heartbeat, and pulse in less than ten seconds
    • Doesn’t require a heartbeat strap
    • StandUp test feature for measuring fitness levels and tiredness
    • Prepares progress reports that can be easily shared with the patient’s doctors.


    • Super-fast results – provides accurate and instant heart rate readings in less than 10 seconds
    • Works well with both Android and iOS
    • Free trial use
    • User-friendly interface
    • Easy to share progress reports with doctors and family.


    • Not a free heart rate app — paid usage after the free trial expires
    • Does not detect blood pressure
    • Limited to saving recent measurements in the free version

  3. Cardiio
  4. Cardiio is a heartbeat app that is backed by the brilliant minds at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The secret of Cardiio heart rate monitor app’s accuracy is in its photoplethysmography (PPG) technology.

    Cardiio’s state-of-the-art PPG technology measures the tiniest of changes in the light that is reflected from either fingers or face and is then detected by the mobile’s in-built rear camera.


    • Provides a high intensity “7-minute workout” which has been developed based on a scientific study published in the American College of Sport Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal
    • Offers multilingual customer support: English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Swedish
    • Fun comparison of user’s resting heart rate with that of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps


    • As accurate as a finger pulse oximeter
    • Facilitates the export data as .csv file
    • Allows sharing of data on social media networks like Twitter and Facebook


    • Not available on Android and Windows
    • Need to upgrade to PRO version for access to full features.

  5. Heart Graph
  6. Heart Graph is one of the best heart rate apps that let users plot their heart rate during different types of exercise, activities, and circuits. These can later be compared with the help of graphs to optimize the benefits of work-out sessions and training.


    • Works well with different types of workout training—aerobics, yoga, resistance training, cycling, rowing, running, gym workouts and even dance>
    • Can be synced with Apple workout app
    • Facilitates the export of data to .CSV format


    • Provides real-time graphs
    • Off-line access to daily sessions
    • Compatible with diverse forms of exercise
    • No irritating advertisements


    • Only available on iOS, not available on other operating systems
    • Requires an external sensor like a chest strap

  7. Blood Pressure Companion
  8. High blood pressure is one of the biggest causes of CDV. If left undetected, it may cause heart problems or a brain stroke. The Blood Pressure Companion app that is available on both the Play Store as well as iTunes is a great app for tracking blood pressure.


    • Keeps a track of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure
    • Facilitates the recording of mean arterial pressure of each reading
    • Allows the user to create and print the user’s health data like blood pressure, weight, pulse, and MAP on a spreadsheet
    • Create reminders for scheduling an appointment with the doctor or physician


    • Sharing of blood pressure, heart rate, and weight data with doctors
    • Supports dark mode
    • Multi-language support — Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish
    • Gathers sleep information automatically


    • Need to upgrade to advertisement-free version

  9. Qardio
  10. Qardio is in the truest sense a one-stop-shop instant heart rate app. There are only a few tested and reliable heart rate variability apps, and Qardio tops that list. It keeps track of a lot of vital health parameters including:

    • Heart rate
    • Blood pressure
    • Body Mass Index (BMI)
    • Weight
    • Body composition (body % of fat, bones, muscles, water)
    • Skin temperature
    • Calories.


    • Records and stores data for better health management
    • Provides medically accurate data
    • Offers multiple-health tracking choices
    • Provides charts for enhanced health analysis
    • Stores important metrics like—EKG, heart rate variability (HRV), and respiratory rate.


    • Sharing health information with doctors, relatives, and friends
    • Easy to use and install
    • Works well with both Android as well as iOS devices


    • Extensive use of device battery


Mobile apps are an integral part of improving not just cardiovascular health but overall health parameters as well. As a mobile application developer, it is essential to realize the importance of significant factors that go into creating a heart monitoring app. Remember that the smallest matters of the heart matter.

Now that you have a clear idea of what makes a great heart rate app, you are equipped to build your own.

Build your Heart Rate App

Do you think I missed out on a feature here? What feature would you want to include in a heart monitor rate? Let me know in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you!



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Founder and CEO of Appy Pie

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