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  November 13th, 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Purchase

The Get Started menu:

Note: Just below menu item #6 is the example text "BreatheHeart:111310". This indicates the release date of the software.

1. Amp & Sensor:

Valsalva Wave "hardware" consists of an "Amplifier" and a plethysmographic "Sensor". The sensor detects blood volume/density as a function of blood flow and pressure. The amplifier amplifies, conditions, and digitizes the signal, as well as providing Universal Serial Bus (USB) interfacing with a Windows PC.

Caution: Please Read This Carefully!

BreatheHeart employs the same sensor as Valsalva Wave Pro. But where Valsalva Wave Pro supports both finger and ear sensor, BreatheHeart supports the ear sensor only. If you already own Valsalva Wave Pro, all that BreatheHeart requires is the software.

Regarding general use, BreatheHeart depends on the presence of the Amplifier and Sensor. If the Amplifier is unplugged from the PC when the application is running, the application will be interrupted. Also, if the Sensor is plugged into the Amplifier or unplugged from the Amplifier while the application is running, the application will be interrupted. It is best to plug the Sensor into the Amplifier, then plug the Amplifier into the USB port on the computer, then open the application. Follow this same process in reverse for unplugging the Amplifier and Sensor.

Please visit: www.breatheheart.com/breathehearthelp.html for additional information about the Amplifier and Sensor.


The BreatheHeart sensor detects blood volume and changes in blood volume due respiration and the heart beat. Respiration is easier to detect than heart beat and for this reason it is possible to detect the former without detecting the latter. Detecting both requires that the tension being applied to the body is strong enough to detect the "pulse" and at the same time, light enough not to interfere with blood volume in the ear lobe.

For this reason, the ear sensor is equipped with a "drift kit" that keeps the clip properly tight on the typical ear. See the photo below. The purpose of the drift kit is to keep the clip from squeezing the ear too much.


2. Basic Signals: See description of each graph below.


The Basic Signals

A. The Valsalva Wave:

The Valsalva Wave is the complex output of the DC plethysmograph, demonstrating dynamic blood volume as a function of respiration, heart beat, and autonomic governance of vascular capacity. It is the basic signal from which we derive the AC Pulse Wave, and the Heart Rate.

B. The AC Pulse Wave:

The AC Pulse Wave is derived by applying a high pass filter to the whole Valsalva Wave, eliminating the low frequency components having to do with respiration. This leaves an "AC coupled" signal that varies equally around an X axis of zero. This signal is ideal for measuring the "inter-beat interval" from which instantaneous Heart Rate is determined. See the "Pulse Wave" tab for a more complete explanation.

C. The Fast Heart Rate:

When the inter-beat interval is divided into 60 seconds it yields instantaneous heart rate in "beats per minute". When heart rate is plotted it yields the signal we know as heart rate variability or "HRV". HRV is a measure of the extent to which the heart beat rate varies. Generally, Heart Rate rises with inhalation and falls with exhalation. Other Heart Rate signals are derived from this signal. See the "Heart Rate" tab for a more complete explanation.

A. Smooth Heart Rate:

Heart Rate (Smooth) is a more conventional "smoothed" graph of the heart rate. It is derived by averaging the Fast Heart Rate, thereby yielding a smoother signal. However, the averaging results in a slight delay relative to the Fast Heart Rate signal. Average Heart Rate is a longer term average of the smooth Heart Rate.


3. Heart Rate Metrics

See description of each graph below. Heart rate signals are "Blue".


Heart Rate Metrics

A. Heart Rate (Smooth) & Heart Rate (Average):

Heart Rate (Smooth) is a more conventional "smoothed" graph of the heart rate. It is derived by averaging the Fast Heart Rate, thereby yielding a smoother signal. However, the averaging results in a slight delay relative to the Fast Heart Rate signal. See the "Simultaneous Signals" tab for a comparison of fast and smoothed signals. Average Heart Rate is a longer term average of the smooth Heart Rate.

B. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Amplitude:

HRV Amplitude is a measurement of the peak- to-peak amplitude of the Fast Heart Rate averaged over a relatively short period. It is responsive to breath-to-breath changes in the peak-to-peak amplitude of the HRV cycle. HRV Amplitude is also known as "maximum heart rate minus minimum heart rate".

C. HRV Amplitude - Average:

HRV Amplitude "Average" is a longer term average of the peak-peak amplitude of the HRV cycle. It is derived by averaging HRV Amplitude over a large number of samples.

D. Heart Rate Power Spectrum:

HR Power Spectrum provides a spectral analysis of the heart beat rate. It is derived by via FFT of the Fast Heart Rate signal.The frequency spectrum is divided into 3 principal bands, Low Frequency - 0 Hz to .06 Hz, Mid Range - .06 Hz to .11 Hz, and High Frequency - .11 Hz to .4 Hz.


4. Thresholds

BreatheHeart provides visual thresholding for certain Heart Rate functions.

This includes Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability, and Heart Rate Variability Average screens. Thresholds are indicated by an adjustable horizontal yellow line or bar that can be moved up or down to indicate the training goal. Audible reward prompts will be added in the next software release.

A yellow "Threshold" legend is presented at the top of those screens that support thresholding. Also, the "Threshold" button is available on the toolbar. When the threshold button is clicked, the Threshold Settings dialog box appears, allowing the threshold of interest to be selected, and its value established.

Heart Rate Variability screen depicting a threshold set at 20 beats

Please note that on variability measurement screens (with a fixed Y-axis) threshold values correlate with the Y axis. On screens where gain is automatically adjusted (and values on the Y-axis vary with gain), threshold values are simply numerical. Also, thresholds are presently not printed on reports.

It is recommended that threshold values are recorded using the Event Marker function which is available on recorded reports. Below is an example of a single event marker that captures the threshold for the Heart Rate Variability measurement. Where there is an upper and lower threshold, 2 event markers are presently required.

Recorded "report" depicting Event Marker with threshold value

To create an event marker, when in record mode, click the green "marker" on the Control Bar along the bottom of the screen. A small input window will open briefly. Input the threshold value and hit "return". It then appears on reports as depicted above and with exported data.

Using Event Marking to record threshold values

5. Sessions & Reports

BreathHeart allows the user to run sessions, record session data, and generate reports. Users can access any one of the pre-defined "report screens" or export the data to generate reports externally.

The most basic entry and exit screen

To run a session, click on the run session button. Using the primary Navigation Bar at the top of the screen choose the screen you wish to view. To record a session, click on the "record button" depicted in the bottom control bar below. (BreatheHeart records all of the signals that are being generated by the instrument, not just the one that is presented at any given moment. The yellow bar will begin advancing to the right, indicating that the session is being recorded.

To end recording, the record button must be pushed again. Recording stops and the yellow bar disappears. To save the session, click on the "stop" arrow in the lower left corner. (The stop arrow must be pressed to exit any active screen.)

The bottom control bar


When the stop arrow is pressed, the "Save Session Data" dialog box is presented. If it is a new client, click the "New Client" button and complete the form. If it is an existing client, click the drop down arrow to select the client name. Once the name has been selected click "Save To Database". Once saving is complete. click on the "X" in the upper right hand corner of this dialog box to close. This will return the user to the entry screen from which you can run another session, access client data, etc.


The "Saved Signals" field highlighted by the red circle determines what signals the instrument saves during each session. The default setting is "all signals", i.e, all of the check boxes are checked. It is recommended that you do not change the default settings.

Note: All screens can be paused and "screen printed" at any time by clicking the "Freeze Screen" icon on the bottom "Control Bar". It is recommended that you print the screen by freezing the screen, copying the screen by using the "print screen" command on your PC, and pasting the screen into PowerPoint or another application, then printing. Please avoid using the print screen button on the Control Bar because it produces a very large bitmap file and can result in printing problems.


This selection explains the standard reports provided. When a session is recorded, BreatheHeart records the data associated with any or all signals. Afterwards, the session can be selected and the data can be viewed or exported. The following reports are those automatically generated in Version 1.0. Data is available for all signals for purposes of exporting. Instructions for viewing and generating reports can be found under the Help menu.

Valsalva Wave signals are "Red". Heart Rate signals are "blue".


R2. Valsalva Wave (AC):

R3. Valsalva Wave (AC) AND Heart Rate:


Heart Rate Reports

Heart Rate signals are "Blue". Valsalva Wave signals are "red".

R1. Heart Rate on the top panel and Heart Rate Variability on the bottom panel:

R2. Heart Rate Average:

R3. Heart Rate (AC):

R4. Heart Rate Variability:

R5. Heart Rate Variability %:

R6. Heart Rate Variability (Average):

R7. Heart Rate Power Spectrum - LF:

R8. Heart Rate Power Spectrum - MF:

R9. Heart Rate Power Spectrum - HF:

R10. Heart Rate Power Spectrum - LF, MF, HF:

R11. Heart Rate AND Valsalva Wave (AC):


Pulse Wave Reports

R1. Pulse Wave (AC):

Patent Pending

Copyright 2010, COHERENCE LLC