Heart rate monitor

Heart rate monitor

:"This article refers to a device used by laypersons. For the article on the medical device performing a similar function, see Electrocardiography."

A heart rate monitor is a device that allows a user to measure their heart rate in real time. It usually consists of two elements: a chest strap transmitter and a wrist receiver (which usually doubles as a watch). Strapless heart rate monitors are available as well, but lack some of the functionality of the original design. Advanced models additionally measure heart rate variability to assess a user's fitness.

The chest strap has electrodes in contact with the skin to monitor the electrical voltages in the heart (see electrocardiography for more details). When a heart beat is detected a radio signal is transmitted, which the receiver uses to determine the current heart rate. This signal can be a simple radio pulse or a unique coded signal from the chest strap; the latter prevents one user's receiver from using signals from other nearby transmitters (known as cross-talk interference).

There are a wide number of receiver designs, with all sorts of advanced features. These include average heart rate over exercise period, time in a specific heart rate zone, calories burned, and detailed logging that can be downloaded to a computer.

The Polar Electro company's website states they invented the first accurate, wireless electrocardiogram heart rate monitor in 1977, to be used as a training tool for the Finnish National Cross Country Ski Team. [http://www.polar.fi/en/about_polar/press_room/press_releases/30 About Polar Electro] ]

The MIO Watch (http://www.miowatch.com) company website states they invented the first ECG accurate strapless heart rate monitor watch that is used as a weight management tool for consumers along with the patented calorie management system.

In December 2005, Textronics Inc. introduced the first garment with integrated heart sensors in the form of a sports bra. (www.numetrex.com)Special materials in the sports bra sense heart rate from the body and transmit it to a wrist receiver. The garment provides a comfortable alternative to the chest strap.

Today, the same concept of heart rate training is used by many people for training, weight management & in race performance analysis.


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