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FAQs about heart rate sensors answered

FAQs about heart rate sensors answered

With advances in medical technology, now heart rate sensors are available that can easily be clipped on to the skin to measure and even monitor the heart rate over a period. Here are answers to some common questions on heart rate sensors.

How do optical heart rate sensors work?
Optical heart rate sensors work using the principles of photoplethysmography. In other words, arterial blood can absorb and reflect light and the optical variations observed in the blood can be easily converted to a digital reading of the heart rate.

What types of heart rate monitors are available?
The heart rate sensor that is strapped to the chest remains the most efficient and accurate heart rate sponsor. This monitor detects a constant stream of electric pulses originating as the heart expands and contracts and the reading can be seen on a digital watch-like device that could be worn on the wrist. When there is a sudden increase or decrease in heart rate beyond a preset limit, the heart rate sensor starts to emit a warning beep.

Another kind of heart rate monitor is the heart rate sensor that is worn on the wrist and which detects the pulsing of the radial artery. However, most doctors feel that this not as efficient or accurate as the one worn on the chest.

The pulse-type heart rate sensor works when you place a finger onto the sensor. It can be clipped onto the tip of a finger. However, the pulse-type heart rate sensor may not give continuous readings and is considered less accurate than the chest-type heart rate sensor.

How does green light work in a heart rate sensor?
The popular Apple watch uses a green led to detect heart rate based on the amount of green light absorbed by the blood and so the rate of absorbance is monitored with every spike of arterial blood which can be converted into the heart rate.

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