A guide to open-source options for heart rate monitoring, including patches, devices and apps.

Heart rate and activity monitors were one of the early categories of "wearable" devices to get mainstream traction. That has also made them popular among Internet of Things hobbyists and open-source enthusiasts. Here are some products, kits, tutorials and software tools that you can build upon to create the fitness-tracking device your heart desires.

This Channel Guide will help you:

  • Find and compare hardware kits and components for building open-source heart rate monitors.
  • Explore DIY tutorials and example projects.
  • Learn about software libraries and other tools you can include in your heart rate monitoring project.

Wristbands and Watches

While not explicitly open-source, these off-the-shelf heart rate monitors provide SDKs and open APIs that make it easy to develop apps and build additional devices that draw on their data. This can be a great place to get started, especially if you're more comfortable with software than hardware.​

Angel Wristband


  • Angel enables monitoring heart rate, blood oxygen, temperature, and activity.
  • Bluetooth 4.0 and onboard RFID/NFC Forum Type 2 Tag with writable memory
  • Open API and unrestricted sensor access
  • Onboard App Engine (Lua)




User & Technical

Hardware Kits

A number of companies and projects offer DIY kits for putting together your own smart, connected heart rate monitor. In addition to open-source hardware and software, these projects are often backed by active developer communities that can help you get your bearings or expand your horizons into other health-tracking devices.

Open Source e-Health Sensor Platform

Electronics for DIY and the Internet of Things (IoT) Community. Arduino and RaspberryPi Hacks and Tricks. Open Source Sensor Networks for developers...

PulseSensor PulseSensor

The Pulse Sensor Amped is a plug-and-play heart-rate sensor for Arduino. It can be used by students, artists, athletes, makers, and game &...


An open source clinical grade Holter ECG

SeeedStduio Grove Ear-clip Heart Rate Sensor SeeedStduio Grove Ear-clip Heart Rate Sensor

"Heart rate ear clip kit contain a ear clip and a receiver module. The heart rate measure kit can be used to monitor heart rate of patient and...

​OpenBCI ​OpenBCI

OpenBCI stands for open-source brain-computer interface (BCI). The OpenBCI Board is a versatile and affordable bio-sensing microcontroller that...

Tutorials and Instructables

Looking for ideas or step-by-step instructions? Here are a few examples of heart rate monitors built with inexpensive, open-source components like Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

CubiKG: A DiY Holter-like device powered by... CubiKG: A DiY Holter-like device powered by...

CubiKG device uses OpenSignals for data recording (or the BITadroid app by David Marquez when on the go), and then looks at the data using the...

Make a Bluetooth Heart-Rate Sensor with... Make a Bluetooth Heart-Rate Sensor with...

"We are going to see how to measure your heart rate using a dedicated Arduino-compatible sensor. Then, we will transmit this data via Bluetooth,...



Software and Tools

Building a device that can detect a heartbeat and send it over a wireless connection is only half of the equation. You'll also need software designed specifically for collecting, analyzing and visualizing health data. Check out these packages to add sophisticated features to your heart rate monitoring project.

OSET (Open Source Electrophysiological Toolbox). A collection of electrophysiological data and open source codes for biosignal generation, modeling, processing, and filtering.

MatLab - Software for Heart Rate Variability

RHRV (R Heart Rate Variability) - An opensource package for the R environment that comprises a complete set of tools for Heart Rate Variability analysis.

Webcam-pulse-detector by Tristan Hearn - A python application that detects and highlights the heart-rate of an individual (using only their own webcam) in real-time.

OpenSignals - "Our cross-platform OpenSignals software enables instant data visualization and recording from any PLUX device. With a web-based GUI and a Python backend, OpenSignals combines high performance data handling and computing with userfriendly interfaces."