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.

Heart rate variability (HRV) software for scientific research and professional use

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.

Heart rate variability (HRV) app for research, wellbeing and sports

Kubios HRV App

Mobile App having two modes of operation: 1) Daily readiness measurement mode and 2) Custom measurement mode. As a researcher, you can use the readiness measurement mode to collect daily short-term HRV measurements from your study participants and then have access to the data via Kubios Cloud. The custom measurement mode enables you to make short- and longer-term measurements of RR, ECG or PPG data (depending on the sensor) in or outside the lab.

Heart rate variability (HRV) analytics for research, wellbeing, and sports

Kubios Cloud Services

Kubios cloud services provide a secure and reliable solution for collecting daily HRV data from large research cohorts. In this service, a team based on your requirements is created and team members (research participants) can measure their daily HRV using the Kubios HRV mobile app. The HRV data is stored in Kubios cloud from where it can be easily accessed via API or delivered to you by Kubios.