Is Your Heart Rate Monitor Compatible with Elite HRV?

We aim to support as many heart rate monitors as possible. Due to the number of heart rate monitors available on the market, we can’t feasibly test them all, so we may need your help in determining if your monitor will work or not.

First, does the heart rate monitor measure accurate R-R intervals?

R-R intervals are the exact times in milliseconds between each heart beat. This is different than regular heart rate! Even if your device happens to transmit R-R intervals, it doesn’t mean that they are not altered, smoothed, or accurate for use with HRV.

More explanation here: What are RR intervals? For wrist band monitors specifically, see here.

You may need to contact the manufacturer of your heart rate monitor to determine if it captures accurate R-R intervals that are intended for Heart Rate Variability measurements. For a list of devices that we have tested or recommend, see: Compatible Devices

Second, if your device does capture accurate R-R intervals, it needs to be able to transmit them to your phone or tablet so that Elite HRV can receive them.

At this time the app is not setup to receive R-R intervals that were previously stored on another device. The heart rate monitor needs to transmit directly to the app via your phone/tablet.

Accepted transmission protocols include:

  • Bluetooth LE (also called Bluetooth Smart or Bluetooth 4.0)
  • ANT+ (on select Android devices! Check the ANT+ website to see if your phone/tablet is ANT+ capable: link)

Again, the manufacturer of your heart rate monitor should easily be able to inform you whether it performs the above 2 requirements.

In most cases, wrist and arm-based monitors are not compatible. We wish they were accurate enough! (here is an example of a 3rd party published study that shows inaccuracies

For more detailed information and for a list of devices, please see https://elitehrv.com/compatible-devices

To recap, a device used with the Elite HRV app needs to:

1. Capture accurate R-R intervals, and 

2. Transmit those intervals in their raw, unaltered state via standard Bluetooth protocols. 

Scosche Rhythm 24

We realize that new devices are coming onto the market that are supposed to transmit accurate R-R intervals. While this may very well be the case, we cannot recommend or officially support these devices until we have time to do our own internal testing. You can check our Compatible Devices page for updates!

Apple Watch

We have had many recent inquiries about using the Apple Watch  with the Elite HRV app, as Apple now advertises that the watch is capable of measuring HRV. In order to calculate the research-backed HRV values such as RMSSD, LnRMSSD, HF, LF, etc. our software needs access to accurate R-R interval data. (More info on R-R intervals here).

At the time of this writing, the Apple Watch has only recently started to transmit R-R intervals to 3rd party applications such as Elite HRV. Since accuracy is our priority, we need to do in-house testing of the accuracy of these R-R intervals before making the developmental changes needed to connect the Apple watch to Elite HRV.

Regarding the HRV function provided directly by the Apple watch: the Apple Health app pulls HRV data at random times throughout the day. This offers little to no context for the HRV score, and therefore can be very misleading when trying to make a judgement from that score. The point of our Morning Readiness readings is to establish a baseline, so to take readings throughout the day without this baseline will not tell you much. 

To be sure, if you are moving your hand, wrist or arm at all, then there is a very low degree of confidence in the accuracy of the HRV calculations that could be produced from the Apple Watch at this time. Even if perfectly still, there are many circumstantial variables to address such as sensor positioning, skin contact, skin thickness/color, emitter spectrum, etc. We will need to verify the accuracy of the raw R-R intervals before updating our app and Compatible Devices list. 

There are many heart rate monitors that are compatible with Elite HRV and fulfill the above requirements. For a full list, see: Compatible Devices (link)

We will update this article and our Compatible Devices page accordingly when the time comes.

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