A new app for the iPad 2 has been released by Philips which allows you to check your vital signs; applying breakthrough technology the Vital Signs Camera App (opens in new tab) uses the tablet PC's camera to measure the user's heart rate and breathing rate.
An important disclaimer from the developer cautions that this should not be considered as a medical tool for diagnosis or decision-making.
The user should keep his or her face in the designated area and then simply remain still and quiet during the measurement period, which lasts a few seconds. The camera app detects the small changes in colour that indicate blood flow and the pulse, and also is able to track the chest movements to count the breathing rate.
If you need your friends to know your pulse and respiratory rate (and why shoudn't you? It's not like this is an odd information to be shared with the world...), the app allows you to share the results with friend lists from Facebook or Twitter.
Alternatively, you can show off your heart rate by easily emailing it directly from the app.
According to its description, this app is to be used for entertainment purposes, but Philips is going to be making its algorithms available for licensing (opens in new tab) and so this could be the first of many similar apps to follow.