Heart rate variability (HRV) data collection can now be done in any setting thanks to a new app designed by HRV Fit Ltd and PhD candidate James Heathers.
The app, combined with a heart rate sensor for a finger, is based on iThlete: an HRF Fit Ltd app that is already used by professional sports teams and athletes. iThlete is used to monitor the health of athletes and improve efficacy of training methods.
“The idea struck me because I’m by nature impatient and my area is psychophysiology,” explained Heathers. “I realized the problem was how to get this very useful data more quickly and cheaply.”
HRV data is necessary for psychophysiologic research in areas including emotion, stress and self-control. Currently, HRV data collection is done at universities with chest electrodes connected to a computer. With Heathers’ new app, it can now be done anywhere and it can be done by the patient unsupervised. The sensor is small enough that it can be mailed to the patient.
To address the issue of data contamination from untrained patients, Heathers intends to use quality controls already accepted by the psychophysiologic community including evaluating data consistency.
“This new device will be a huge help in my own research but also has fantastic potential for the research area in general, and I want everyone to have access to it to pursue their own work.”
Heathers presented the concept for his app at the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology conference. The iMedicalApps team has previously reported on the potential use for data collection to aid in their diagnosis and treatment.