In June of 2009 I warned that HRV would be disrupted, and a year later I was suggesting a mobile HRV tool in an interview. When a closed door symposium was held in Stockholm five years earlier, HRV was emerging in sport science but not common, save the few that could boast of having an omegawave. Now HRV is growing as a way to provide useful data to consumers and teams. Here are the top players in HRV .
iThlete and Bioforce- While separate apps, they are paired together because Bioforce is a white label solution with some adjustments, based on supine and extended time collection. iThlete is the first mobile app to be available and uses both bluetooth and dongle to collect HRV. Bioforce is developing an team system so all data can be aggregated and ithlete uses dropbox and should have a team system soon. Also finger sensor should be available soon. Bioforce and iThlete have similar user interfaces for paced or free breathing with .CSV export for sharing data. Both include charting functions and are useful for individuals to see their own data and make decisions based on indicator lights. The user interface could use a serious facelift as the product is not engaging to the regular joe athlete and make it more elegant.
Omegawave- The first company to provide HRV to professional teams, Omegawave is headed by former decathlete Val Nasedkin and is a subscription based system using bluetooth and mobile app. Data is stored and filtered through their cloud server and data is shared between user and end coach. The subscription is not cheap and the user interface has poor data display and gauges that will make Stephen Few go on a rampage like he did with Tableau and other embarrassing data visualization tools. Omegawave is actively trying to get the team and consumer health market.
Tinke- The tinke is both an app and hardware device that collects more data and HRV. The difference is that it collects the saturation of peripheral oxygen, something useful but not really explored. The app user interface is elegant and very clean, but needs more things like dropbox to export data easily to others. So far it’s a consumer product and currently some creative coaches have already hacked the device and using custom apps to get data to their dashboards. I think the Tinke is the direction things are going on the mobile side.
Anubis- I have seen two apps that are enterprise for elite soccer athletes that collect HRV during sleep and wake. The app was shown at European Conference last year by a consultant and the design is very simple and includes SMS as well as alerts. Currently it’s using the Tinke and running it’s own calculations and due to the fact it’s custom, it’s just a cool James Bond app, nice to have if you are the super elite, but not something a college team will be using soon. I have an iPhone and if something like this is available in the mass market, it will crush the competition because most coaches want a combination of tinke and ithlete.
Sweetbeat- Sweetbeat is an app available for iphone users and uses both bluetooth and dongle to capture HRV. The app is designed for personal health and while their health mentions sport, it’s just not a viable solution for performance. The app interface is clumsy and data display needs work. The app is not that usable and other similar wellness options exist on the app store.
Mybobo- The company mybobo is a Cambridge company start-up that has a bit of a mystery behind them. The company boasts a dream team of Harvard wiz kids and is focused on big data and analytics power. While no product exists on market now, they expect to have soon that will disrupt the mobile device market and collect better data than the fitbit and Nike Fuel. Speaking of Nike, at the accelerator meet-up I had a sneak peak of what they are up to and it looks promising.
I currently use ithlete for the majority of needs because of price and flexibility, but innovation drives the future an I am excited to see what happens next.