A pair of off-the shelf headphones converted into a pulse rate monitor and a fitness band that tracks what you eat. Innovative stories from the world of wellness.

Each week PSFK.com with its partner Boehringer Ingelheim brings you a snapshot of five innovative ideas that are reshaping the health care industry. This week’s innovations include a pair of off-the shelf headphones converted into a pulse rate monitor and a fitness band that tracks what you eat.

Device Turns Any Set Of Headphones Into Pulse Monitor Researchers at the Kaiteki Institute in Japan have developed a processing technology that turns any pair headphones into a pulse wave sensor, able to track the wearer’s heartbeat. The approach converts in-ear earphones into microphones that listen for eardrum movement, which is usually in sync with the pulse rate of a person’s arteries. As the technique compensates for background noise, it lets users monitor their pulses while they listen to music, and without having to wear a head-mounted gadget. Its small form factor makes the device efficient enough that it could slip into conventional mobile devices almost unnoticed.

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