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The Role of Heart Rate Variability in the Future of Remote Digital Biomarkers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Article number582145
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue number582145.
Published13 Nov 2020


King's Authors


Heart rate variability (HRV) offers insights into humoral, neural and neurovisceral processes in health and disorders of brain, body and behavior but has yet to be fully potentiated in the digital age. Remote measurement technologies (RMTs), such as, smartphones, wearable sensors or home-based devices, can passively capture HRV as a nested parameter of neurovisceral integration and health during everyday life, providing insights across different contexts, such as activities of daily living, therapeutic interventions and behavioral tasks, to compliment ongoing clinical care. Many RMTs measure HRV, even consumer wearables and smartphones, which can be deployed as wearable sensors or digital cameras using photoplethysmography. RMTs that measure HRV provide the opportunity to identify digital biomarkers indicative of changes in health or disease status in disorders where neurovisceral processes are compromised. RMT-based HRV therefore has potential as an adjunct digital biomarker in neurovisceral digital phenotyping that can add continuously updated, objective and relevant data to existing clinical methodologies, aiding the evolution of current “diagnose and treat” care models to a more proactive and holistic approach that pairs established markers with advances in remote digital technology.

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