Measuring the variations in the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system reveals a number of valuable insights into the subject:
Using ProCVT, it has been demonstrated in the field of elite sports, that an athlete’s CVT is the most accurate measure of fatigue known to man. Fatigue can be described as Training Load Response, an accurate measure of which has long been the holy grail of sports scientists and coaches. Accurate information as to the fatigue state of an athlete allows training programs to be tailored specifically to the athlete’s physiology, allowing maximum performance to be obtained from each athlete when it’s needed.
A person’s fatigue CVT is best measured in the morning, just after waking. The ECG strap is put on, and ProBiometrics’ ProCTV app is then used to take a three minute reading whilst the subject relaxes. This ECG data is then uploaded to our cloud based systems where the CVT value is calculated. From here it is available to any of the coaching staff depending on how the customer has set up the system.
A fatigue reading for the general population is between 3 and 13. A reading lower than 3 may indicate an underlying problem with the subject’s cardiovascular system. Readings higher than 13 are generally found on people who are very fit ie. athletes and other professional sports people. Aside from being able to detect over-training, it has been shown that measurement of CVT can also identify other correctable issues affecting an elite athlete’s performance. In one such case resolution of a dietary issue allowed the affected individual to perform to his full potential.
By calculating CVT on a heartbeat by heartbeat basis it is possible to determine a person’s physiological stress (or emotional response) to their environment. Before each heartbeat the body makes an assessment of the person’s surroundings using all of the senses and this assessment is what is measured by the CVT reading for that heartbeat. Converting this figure to a percentage of the subject’s previously observed maximum stress allows for an objective comparison to be made across a number of monitored individuals.
Monitoring a human’s psychological load enables previously unparalleled mitigation of human factors in risk or safety critical environments. Further, it has already been used in the training of staff in customer facing roles to identify weaknesses which may not be otherwise apparent. Data can be captured off line and processed at a later date, or streamed live into ProBiometrics’ cloud based systems where the CVT calculation is made in real time and the results disseminated back to the subject or any other internet connected party.
A key feature of CVT is the role that it plays in recovery from physical exertion. Increasing CVT via deep breathing exercises or direct stimulation of the vagal nerve, allows for accelerated recovery from exercise related fatigue. This is because high CVT stimulates the outer parts of the adrenal gland to secrete high levels of cortisol which allows for improved healing of micro-tears in muscles and artery walls. Higher levels of cortisol also enable the body to maintain blood glucose levels which help the body cope with stress.
During recovery exercises the subject regulates their breathing whilst taking a real time reading of their CVT, aiming to achieve a breathing pattern which maximises their CVT reading for a period of approximately 20 minutes.
When using the system in real time it is possible to detect when a person is about to go into stage 1 sleep. The CVT chart will form 3 domes that match certain criteria, the last of which will form some 30 seconds before the subject goes into stage 1 sleep. Clearly this is valuable information in any situation where it is imperative that the person being monitored does not go to sleep, for instance when driving a car. Work is ongoing with the University of Aachen in Germany where they are many years into a project to develop a capacitive contactless seat capable of acquiring the ECG bio-signals (even through clothing) required to calculate CVT. This will enable the deployment of the technology in any situation where the machine operator is sat down.