Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Validity of telemetric-derived measures of heart rate variability: a systematic review

Board, Elisabeth M.; Ispoglou, Theocharis; Ingle, Lee


Elisabeth M. Board

Theocharis Ispoglou


Heart rate variability (HRV) is a widely accepted indirect measure of autonomic function with widespread application across many settings. Although traditionally measured from the 'gold standard' criterion electrocardiography (ECG), the development of wireless telemetric heart rate monitors (HRMs) extends the scope of the HRV measurement. However, the validity of telemetric-derived data against the criterion ECG data is unclear. Thus, the purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to systematically review the validity of telemetric HRM devices to detect inter-beat intervals and aberrant beats; and (b) to determine the accuracy of HRV parameters computed from HRM-derived inter-beat interval time series data against criterion ECG-derived data in healthy adults aged 19 to 62 yrs. A systematic review of research evidence was conducted. Four electronic databases were accessed to obtain relevant articles (PubMed, EMBASE, MEDLINE and SPORTDiscus. Articles published in English between 1996 and 2016 were eligible for inclusion. Outcome measures included temporal and power spectral indices (Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology (1996). The review confirmed that modern HRMs (Polar® V800™ and Polar® RS800CX™) accurately detected inter-beat interval time-series data. The HRV parameters computed from the HRM-derived time series data were interchangeable with the ECG-derived data. The accuracy of the automatic in-built manufacturer error detection and the HRV algorithms were not established. Notwithstanding acknowledged limitations (a single reviewer, language bias, and the restricted selection of HRV parameters), we conclude that the modern Polar® HRMs offer a valid useful alternative to the ECG for the acquisition of inter-beat interval time series data, and the HRV parameters computed from Polar® HRM-derived inter-beat interval time series data accurately reflect ECG-derived HRV metrics, when inter-beat interval data are processed and analyzed using identical protocols, validated algorithms and software, particularly under controlled and stable conditions.


Board, E. M., Ispoglou, T., & Ingle, L. (2016). Validity of telemetric-derived measures of heart rate variability: a systematic review. Journal of exercise physiology online / American Society of Exercise Physiologists, 19(6), 64-84

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 22, 2016
Publication Date 2016-12
Deposit Date Feb 14, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 14, 2017
Journal Journal of exercise physiology
Print ISSN 1097-9751
Electronic ISSN 1097-9751
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 6
Pages 64-84
Keywords Heart rate variability, Wireless telemetric heart rate monitors, Inter-beat interval time series, Modern PolarĀ® HRMs, ECG-derived HRV metrics
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Journal of exercise physiology, 2016, v.19, issue 6


Article.pdf (280 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright ©1997-2017 American Society of Exercise Physiologists. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction or republication (in whole or in part) of any document or information found on this site for publication purposes or to otherwise take ownership is expressly prohibited, unless agreed to by the Editor-In-Chief of JEPonline.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations