Cercacor, makers of Ember® – the world’s first non-invasive hemoglobin tracker for endurance athletes – announced that both Ember Sport and Premium models will now also measure pulse rate variability (PRV). A measurement similar to Heart Rate Variability (HRV), PRV is a significant tool used by athletes to better understand their response to training stress and exercise training cycles, and to better understand their overall performances.
Based on internal studies, PRV from Ember has been shown to be statistically equivalent to Heart Rate Variability (HRV), calculated using an electrocardiogram (ECG).
With the inclusion of PRV, Ember now enables athletes and their trainers to non-invasively measure 10 parameters in usually less than one minute without drawing blood. These parameters include: PRV, hemoglobin, pulse rate, oxygen saturation, oxygen content, pleth variability index, perfusion index, carbon monoxide, methemoglobin and respiration rate. A comprehensive tool that aids in training and recovery assessment, Ember is also the only consumer device that provides athletes and their trainers such a wide breadth of data, so quickly and with just one non-invasive optical sensor.
“Having the ability to track my pulse rate variability or PRV on the Ember device tells me more accurately what is happening with my overall rest and readiness, and gives me a more comprehensive picture of my fitness and health,” explained Ironman champion and Cercacor Athlete Ambassador Ben Hoffman. “Generally speaking, I have found that the higher the PRV, the better; and I even notice that my PRV will drop significantly when I am slightly overtrained, have slept poorly, or if I am on the verge of sickness. Being able to track these values long-term in tandem with the other parameters on the Ember device (including a general assessment of emotional state), has allowed me to feel more in-tune with my overall health."
“We’ve designed Ember to be an evolving platform for consumers,” stated Cercacor’s Founder and CEO Joe Kiani. “Adding PRV and an emotional response scale to the parameters Ember measures bring this advanced tool one step closer to being a comprehensive solution for helping athletes obtain the most actionable data, in the shortest time, in the easiest way possible for athletes.”
How is PRV different from HRV?
While HRV is computed by measuring the variability of the beat-to-beat intervals of the heart rate in the electrical impulses from an ECG, Ember calculates PRV by measuring the variability of the beat-to-beat intervals of the pulse rate obtained at the fingertip from a photoplethysmograph (PPG).
What insights can PRV provide?
PRV is a measurement of the variability in time between successive pulse rates and corresponds to the body’s ability to adapt to different physiological or environmental stimuli. A higher PRV score means that there is more variability in the time periods (which is a good thing) and a lower PRV score means that there is less variability. As such, PRV has become a useful tool in understanding the athlete’s adaptation to training load and recovery. Values in the range of 20-70 are considered normal for healthy adults.
The time of day and body posture (sitting vs. standing vs. lying down) when PRV is measured can also impact the PRV value. In addition, evidence suggests people with positive emotions tend to have higher PRV whereas people with negative emotions tend to have lower PRV values.¹ Multiple measurements compared over time help provide the best insights.
When is the best time to measure PRV?
As with the other Ember parameters, the first measurement of the day before getting out of bed is the best time to take a PRV measurement – for establishing a baseline and for comparison to other measurements.
Pairing PRV with emotional response:
Ember’s app now also enables users to select different feelings to represent their mindset at the time of measurement. Pairing this subjective input with the highly objective measurement parameter like PRV, athletes can get a more complete picture to help them better understand their bodies, response to training, readiness and more.
As with all new Ember measurements and non-hardware upgrades, users simply download the latest version of the app in the App Store and Android Market to upgrade their Ember devices.
Cercacor is an innovator of easy-to-use, professional, non-invasive monitoring technologies for consumers. The company helps people access key health indicators – empowering them to better understand their bodies, enhance their fitness levels and reach their full potential. Cercacor is passionate about finding better ways to help endurance athletes and everyday people achieve the extraordinary.
Jason Sherman, 312-577-7650, Jason@shermancm.com
SHERMAN communications & marketing, www.shermancm.com
¹Kop, WJ et al. Autonomic nervous system reactivity to positive and negative mood induction: The role of acute psychological responses and frontal electrocortical activity. Biol Psychol. 2011 Mar; 86(3); 230-238.