Tinké is a small, lightweight device designed to help patients improve their cardiovascular health and stress levels.

This little device plugs into the 30-pin connector on your iPhone (3GS or newer), iPod Touch, or iPad.

Unfortunately, for those of you with an iPhone 5, you will also need an 8-pin to 30-pin adapter.

Tinké aims to help patients by periodically monitoring 4 parameters: heart rate, SpO2, respiratory rate, and heart rate variability (HRV). The first three parameters are meant to measure cardiovascular health. HRV is evaluated to give an indication of stress level.

In addition, the device calculates 2 indices: the Vita Index and the Zen Index. The Vita Index is calculated based on the vital signs collected to give an overall cardiovascular score. The Zen Index is calculated based on HRV during a 60 second respiratory exercise to evaluate the stress level. It’s worth noting that Zensorium hasn’t given any detail regarding how the Zen Index is calculated and whether there is any real science behind it.

The 4 measured parameters as well as the 2 indices are all automatically entered into the Tinké app which allows the patient to easily see graphs of their progress.

As I mentioned above, Zensorium fails to go into detail regarding how their indices are calculated. This makes it difficult for healthcare professionals to evaluate whether they feel that Tinké is a useful tool for their patients or simply a cute toy.

Left to my own speculation, I’ve come to the conclusion that a patient, armed with a little bit of knowledge, could benefit from seeing a graph of their heart rate, SpO2, and respiratory rate.  I remain skeptical about the Zen Index (and HRV).

The iMedicalApps team has reported on self-tracking as well as the use of HRV in sports and physiology labs.

Source: Tinké