Research applications of HRV

The field of research applications where heart rate variability (HRV) is used is very broad. HRV is an accurate method to assess autonomic nervous system (ANS) function. The autonomic nervous system acts mainly unconsciously and regulates bodily functions such as heart rate, vasoconstriction and respiratory rate. The ANS is divided into the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, which typically function in opposition to each other. The ANS function and how it regulates heart rate are affected by e.g. physical activity, stress, sleep deprivation, metabolic diseases like diabetes, and multiple cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors.


scientific research

Heart rate variability (HRV) research

The gold-standard HRV software for scientific research

Kubios HRV software has achieved a gold-standard status in scientific research, used at roughly 1800 universities in 149 countries. Kubios HRV is a scientifically validated software for heart rate variability analysis and it is widely used by researchers around the world. The software has been developed during the past 20 years and key publications related to the software and its pre-processing algorithms are listed below. These four publications have attracted over 4000 citations and Kubios HRV software has been used in over 5900 scientific publications.

Tarvainen MP et al. An advanced detrending method with application to HRV analysis. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng, 49(2):172-175, 2002.
Niskanen J-P et al. Software for advanced HRV analysis. Comp Meth Programs Biomed, 76(1):73-81, 2004.
Tarvainen MP et al. Kubios HRV – Heart rate variability analysis software. Comp Meth Programs Biomed, 113(1):210-220, 2014.
Lipponen JA & Tarvainen MP. A robust algorithm for HRV time series artefact correction using novel beat classification. J Med Eng & Technol, 43(3):173-181, 2019.
More Kubios HRV publications and white papers are available here
Heart rate variability (HRV) measurement

Device independent software for research

We develop device independent software products to enable researchers to utilize their existing measurement devices for HRV analyses or to support analyses of already collected datasets. Kubios HRV software products are compatible with most of the HR monitors on the market, with several commonly used electrocardiogram (ECG) devices, and with some photoplethysmogram (PPG) devices. The requirement for HRV analysis is that you need to have either beat-to-beat RR or IBI data, or raw ECG or PPG data. For accurate HRV analysis we recommend either a good quality HR sensor (e.g. Polar H10) or an ECG device. Different data formats and devices that are compatible with Kubios HRV software are described in User’s Guide.

Heart rate variability (HRV) research

Software designed for researchers

Kubios HRV software products are designed for scientific research and professional use. Kubios HRV software products offer the most detailed HRV analysis on the market with over 40 analysis parameters, including all commonly used time-domain, frequency-domain and nonlinear HRV parameters. Analyses can be performed for specified time periods or the whole recording can be processed using time-varying analysis. Reliability and accuracy of HRV results is guaranteed when using our robust beat detection, noise handling and beat correction algorithms. The HRV analysis results can be exported in several formats so that you can easily post-process the results in Excel, SPSS or Matlab.

Products for Scientific Research

Kubios HRV Scientific

Kubios HRV Scientific

Full featured HRV analysis software designed for scientific research and professional use. The Scientific version supports Kubios HRV mobile app measurements and several third-party HR monitors, ECG and PPG devices. The software features accurate pre-processing of HRV data, over 40 HRV analysis parameters, HRV time trends, training data analytics, ECG waveform analysis, and detailed reporting.

Kubios HRV Team Readiness

Kubios HRV Team Readines

The cutting-edge heart rate variability based readiness monitoring software. Tailored for sports and wellness professionals coaching athletes or guiding individuals through lifestyle interventions and occupational stress, providing researchers with robust HRV data collection and analytics over their study populations.

Kubios HRV App

Kubios HRV App

Mobile app offering two powerful measurement modes for heart rate variability assessments. The Readiness Measurement mode offers accurate HRV based assessment of physiological recovery and readiness. The Custom Measurement mode is designed for researchers and professionals for diverse HRV recordings.