HRV Explorer heart rate variability measurements can tell you a lot about changes happening in your body. You need to pay great attention when using a camera based heart rate monitor as these gadgets are highly sensitive and camera measurement highly depends on your behavior during the reading (reading time around 2 minutes). If you want more accurate measurements through our application then follow the rules mentioned below:
1- Gently put your finger on your phone rear camera and flash
Different smartphones comes with different camera and flash configurations. One need to understand the camera and flash configuration to obtain better results. If your smartphone have horizontal rear camera, position your finger horizontally and cover both flash and camera. Similarly, for vertical rear camera place your finger vertically. If your phone have two rear cameras then cover one on the bottom.
2- Don’t move your finger and check the lighting
HRV Explorer camera monitor, records changes in the color of video frame to track blood flow (atrial and ventricular depolarization and re-polarization) in and out of your finger. Moving the finger during reading can interrupt the analysis.
If you are taking measure in too bright or dark environment, it can affect the color of the video frames and may not produce correct results. No need to turn off or turn on all the lights of your house.
Note: Do not burn your finger with flash of your camera. If the flash gets warmer then you can cover it half-way, or hold your finger 2-3 mm away from the flash.
3- Take heart rate measurements when you are seated and relaxed
Always take the measurements when your heart and breath is stable. For example if you ran down the hallway, carried something heavy or changed positions, wait for 3-5 minutes, take a seat and relax before proceeding for heart rate measurement.
4- Do not talk, yawn, control breath or breathe deeply while taking heart rate measurements
Autonomic nervous system is responsible to regulate multiple functions of body. Talking, yawning, moving, deeply breathing or controlling breath will effect the activity of your autonomic nervous system. The body’s regulatory center that modifies your heartbeat in response to changes in your environment and behavior. These changes in heart rhythm will alter your heart rate variability.
5- Read application hints from the bottom of the measurement screen
To take accurate and reliable measurement, always keep track of the measurement quality hints on bottom of the screen.
If there is no hints or progress bar doesn’t stop and start then you’r doing well. If any thing went wrong the progress bar will restart from zero and will take measurements again from the start. It may happened because you may be moving too much or pressing finger too hard into the camera or holding it too far etc. Follow the instruction until the hint disappears.
6- Analyse your result
We analyze all of your measurements and provide you statistical information along with visuals. If everything appear in red color then it is always best to take another measurement after some rest. This can happen due to following reasons:
- High heart rate or unstable heart rate: It can happen if your heart rate was not stable after exercise or moving too much while taking measurement.
- Incorrect finger placement: If the smartphone camera can not see the blood circulation in your finger through HRV Explorer application then it will effect the overall measurement. You may need to experiment with your finger placement. Flip your phone over and make sure the flash is illuminating your finger. Also, make sure you are not pressing down on the camera too hard.
- Dust on camera: If smartphone camera is dirty, wipe the sensor and take the measurement again.
- Moving/talking/yawning/controlling breath/deep breath: This can increase your heart beat and make it unstable. For better results it is suggested to stay quite and breath normally.
- Bad light: If you are in an environment where the lighting is way too bright or there is no light on at all then camera might miss some blood circulation events which are effecting the overall results.
- Smoking/consuming alcohol/drinking coffee: In case of smoking, consuming alcohol and drinking coffee before taking measurement may infer your heartbeat and produce different HRV values then your normal HRV values.
7- Compare your results with your previous measurements
HRV Explorer compares your previous measurements with the current by place arrow in green, yellow and red color. If you see a continuous reduction in your HRV values then you might need to consult with the cardiologist. If the values are increasing then it is always a good sign.
HRV Explorer is currently available in Google Play Store. Please download and give us your feedback for future improvements.
Note: HRV Explorer is sufficiently accurate. But it doesn’t meant as a replacement for professional medical equipment and qualified care. If you find any abnormality or have any concerns about your heart’s condition then please consult your physician or general practitioner.
Read more about HRV and methods
1- Linear and non-linear methods
2- Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and personalize care using smartphone camera