Heart Rate, Heart Frequency or Heart Rhythm Variability (HRV), and Pulse Rate

January, 2018 | biosignal

are the most frequently used and most fundamental biometric parameters used to represent the number of heartbeats and their basic statistical properties in a given timeframe.

Given that the appropriate signal-quality is present, the numeric values describing Heart Rate and Pulse Rate can easily be calculated using simple methods and algorithms, however, the acquired data represent highly complex cardiovascular regulatory processes.

A distinction needs to be made between Heart Rate / minute and momentary Heart Rate, and the fluctuation of time intervals between each heartbeat, in order to clarify the simple but often misinterpreted notions and see clearly either as an end user or as a developer.

When interpreting ECG, the series of time interval values between heart beats is called an R-R interval time series. In the case of pulse wave measurement it is called beat to beat time series. The numeric values of the R-R interval time series are identical with those of beat to beat time series in the case of healthy human subjects, provided that we have good signal quality (ECG and pulse wave).

While R-R and beat-to-beat time intervals inherently carry the real-time, precise pattern of the temporal fluctuation of heartbeats, the Heart Rate values are the calculated averages of a given time-period, therefore subtle changes do not appear in them: “momentary” Heart Rate (the value referring to the given time-window) = (60 * heartbeat) / time-window (sec)

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