Reliability and concurrent validity of a peripheral pulse oximeter and health-app system for the quantification of heart rate in healthy adults

Health Informatics J. 2016 Jun;22(2):151-9. doi: 10.1177/1460458214540909. Epub 2014 Jul 18.


There are downloadable applications (Apps) for cell phones that can measure heart rate in a simple and painless manner. The aim of this study was to assess the reliability of this type of App for a Smartphone using an Android system, compared to the radial pulse and a portable pulse oximeter. We performed a pilot observational study of diagnostic accuracy, randomized in 46 healthy volunteers. The patients' demographic data and cardiac pulse were collected. Radial pulse was measured by palpation of the radial artery with three fingers at the wrist over the radius; a low-cost portable, liquid crystal display finger pulse oximeter; and a Heart Rate Plus for Samsung Galaxy Note®. This study demonstrated high reliability and consistency between systems with respect to the heart rate parameter of healthy adults using three systems. For all parameters, ICC was > 0.93, indicating excellent reliability. Moreover, CVME values for all parameters were between 1.66-4.06 %. We found significant correlation coefficients and no systematic differences between radial pulse palpation and pulse oximeter and a high precision. Low-cost pulse oximeter and App systems can serve as valid instruments for the assessment of heart rate in healthy adults.

Keywords: heart rate; pulse rate; smartphone Apps.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Phone
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers*
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mobile Applications / statistics & numerical data*
  • Oximetry / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results