The CorSense HRV monitor by EliteHRV is a consumer-grade heart rate variability (HRV) monitor. It’s designed to be paired with a convenient smartphone app to measure and track HRV over time. The CorSense HRV monitor is a great option for those interested in putting numbers to their training and health goals.
My interest in the CorSense HRV monitor originated from my interest in the vagus nerve. Heart Rate variability (HRV) is a function means of assessing overall vagal tone (health of the vagus nerve.) There are plenty of other applications as well—and this HRV monitor can support them all! I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my CorSense so far and wanted to share some of the features that make it such a popular option for HRV monitoring.
The CorSense HRV monitor offers accurate R-R interval monitoring, has a 500hertz sensor array, and a convenient smartphone app to keep all the data in one place. The CorSenseHRV comes with a 45-day “no questions asked” money-back guarantee. This review will cover the features and usage that have earned the CorSense the reputation of being one of the best personal HRV monitors on the market today.
The CorSense HRV Monitor comes with several notable features making it one of the most attractive consumer-grade devices on the market. While not cheap, the quality of sensors, out-of-the-box use design, and full-featured companion app make the Corsense a very attractive option for tracking HRV. Below you’ll find an overview of some of the features the CorSense HRV tracker has to offer.
The CorSense HRV monitor does not use a proprietary data format and is compatible with other HRV monitoring apps. This means the CorSense can be used with apps like Apple Health, Google Health, Welltory, and others. EliteHRV offers several versions of apps:
- Personal (Free)
- Personal Pro (Premium, $8/mo.)
- Pro Team (Starts @ $30/mo.)
So far, my experience with the free version has been positive. My interest has been for basic measure and tracking only but I’m definitely keeping an eye on the Personal Pro version for future analysis.
The Personal (free) app comes packed with a lot of useful features such as reminders, tags, mood tracking, and the ability to leave tags and notes to help catalog testing variables.
The CorSense HRV monitor uses a Bluetooth connection to transmit data to HRV apps. Currently, this is the only method of data transfer and the supplied USB-USB mini cable is for charging only. While I regard Bluetooth as a standard protocol for smartphone apps there are cases where I see this as a limitation—especially given the price tag of the CorSense HRV unit.
The Corsense HRV Monitor by Elite HRV features an array of 3 multi-wavelength LED emitters, 5 large visible spectrum photodetectors, and 1 infrared detector. This somewhat advanced measurement system has been calibrated specifically for the measurement of relevant biomarkers by accounting for variations in skin tone and circulatory factors.
The CorSense HRV monitor is backed by a 90-day warranty that guarantees everything is in working order. Again, given the price tag of this unit, I’d prefer to see a 365-day warranty at least. The 45-day money-back period covers buyer’s remorse but I’ve had plenty of devices turn faulty after 90 days after normal wear and tear usage.
The CorSense HRV monitor relies on its sensor array to provide data collected by a process formally known as Photoplethysmography (PPG). While less accurate than conventional measures such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), PPG’s practicality makes it the more appropriate technology in a range of applications (1). ECG devices are typically deployed in applications where a chest strap is required.
ECG vs. PPG
ECG measures have been regarded as the industry standard for decades. However, more recent research has confirmed that PPG can provide accurate measures of interpulse intervals required for accurate HRV measuring (2). Research in this area notes that PPG data may prove the preferred standard partly because it affords more relevant data such as blood oxygen levels. This measure could be a logical addition to the CorSense HRV monitor’s readouts in the future.
HRV measurements have a wide range of potential applications. These include helping develop better strength training programs, predicting relative risk among cardiac patients, and even diagnosing complicated chronic health conditions such as CIRS. Below is a quick overview of how HRV measurements such as those provided by the CorSense HRV monitor can be applied.
Workout Recovery & Performance Monitoring
HRV monitoring during workouts may allow athletes to better understand when they are at risk of overtraining (6). In addition to tracking performance improvements, this measure could help design more effective programs to integrate optimal intervals in active training days. Simply put; HRV measures can inform trainers when their athletes need to rest.
HRV has been used clinically as a measure to predict inflammatory response in cardiac patients (7). These same insights could help monitor physiologic responses to strength training programs to design, adjust, and better measure physiological responses.
HRV has been regarded as an effective measure of overall health. In addition, many specific conditions have been linked to changes in HRV measures. These conditions, taken as a highlighted list of well-known conditions, includes the following (3, 4, 5):
- Myocardial Infarction
- Diabetic Neuropathy
- Nervous System Regulation (and everything that entails)
HRV measure as a means of predicting and diagnosing the chronic disease is an emerging field of study. HRV is a primary method of measuring the function of the vagus nerve—a primary regulator of many major organ and sensory systems. Dr. Ron Hauser MD of Caring Medical has a great video diving into this subject. I’d recommend anyone interested in the application of HRV as a measure of health check it out.
Where to Buy
The Corsense HRV Monitor is available directly from EliteHRV, ships quick and free, and arrives ready-to-go in just a few short days. The free companion EliteHRV companion app can be downloaded in the Google Play or Apple store at any time.
The Corsense HRV Monitor is a very accurate consumer-grade heart rate variability monitor. The fact it can be up-and-running within 5 minutes of arriving in the mail is incredible. The app is intuitive, easy to configure, and loaded with features for a free version. The CorSense HRV monitor isn’t exactly cheap but—considering the quality of data, ease-of-use, and robust app—I think it’s definitely one of the best HRV monitors on the market today!
- Allen, John. “Photoplethysmography and its application in clinical physiological measurement.” Physiological measurement vol. 28,3 (2007): R1-39. doi:10.1088/0967-3334/28/3/R01
- Lu, G et al. “A comparison of photoplethysmography and ECG recording to analyse heart rate variability in healthy subjects.” Journal of medical engineering & technology vol. 33,8 (2009): 634-41. doi:10.3109/03091900903150998.
- Electrophysiology, Task Force of the European Society. “Heart Rate Variability.” Circulation, vol. 93, no. 5, 1996, pp. 1043–65. Crossref, doi:10.1161/01.cir.93.5.1043.
- Lees, Ty et al. “Heart Rate Variability as a Biomarker for Predicting Stroke, Post-stroke Complications and Functionality.” Biomarker insights vol. 13 1177271918786931. 18 Jul. 2018, doi:10.1177/1177271918786931.
- Buschman, Hendrik P et al. “Heart rate control via vagus nerve stimulation.” Neuromodulation : journal of the International Neuromodulation Society vol. 9,3 (2006): 214-20. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1403.2006.00062.x.
- Schneider, Christoph et al. “Heart Rate Variability Monitoring During Strength and High-Intensity Interval Training Overload Microcycles.” Frontiers in physiology vol. 10 582. 22 May. 2019, doi:10.3389/fphys.2019.00582
- 7. Papaioannou, Vasilios et al. “Association of heart rate variability and inflammatory response in patients with cardiovascular diseases: current strengths and limitations.” Frontiers in physiology vol. 4 174. 10 Jul. 2013, doi:10.3389/fphys.2013.00174.