Camera Heart Rate Variability is Dr Marco Altini’s app that lets you record, plot and export time and frequency domain Heart Rate Variability (HRV) measurements – without requiring any heart rate monitor. You simply put your finger onto the camera lense of your phone for 1 to 2 minutes.
This app give you reliable resting HRV measures in standardized scores. Three measures are of particular interest:
- Heart Rate (higher heart rates are associated with higher levels of stress and autonomic arousal)
- rMSSD (the most well-established measure of heart rate variability, which is an index of resilience and self-regulation)
- pNN50 (another well-known measure of heart rate variability)
The meta analysis of many HRV studies performed by Nunan and colleagues 2010 is a good place to start when trying to understand HRV data norms. The study takes normative data from 44 short-term HRV studies involving 21,438 adult participants of normally healthy adults – and here is the data:
In a study by Voss and colleagues (2015), the short-term (5 minute) HRV indices for 1,906 healthy individuals aged 25 – 74 years were analyzed to determine gender and age effects on HRV. The data from this study is shown here:
It is critical that in using this app to assess your day to day resting HR and HRV that you take the recording at the same time of day (e.g. on first waking) in the same circumstances (e.g. before having a coffee, and sitting in the same position).