Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a known biomarker for activation of parasympathetic nervous system. It is often used as a biomarker for stress and is shown to be a predictor for other mental health issues, such as depression.

Several studies show that meditation helps to lower HRV. However, this is hard to notice without measurement.

What it does

Our app - aum - brings HRV measurement to meditation. During each meditation session HRV is measured using any Bluetooth heart rate monitor, such as Polar H7 or Suunto Smart. After the session HRV measurements are displayed and compared with measurements from the previous sessions. This way user can get an objective feedback loop of the effects of his meditation.

How we built it

We integrated Bluetooth heart rate monitor using Swift and provided an interface for React Native. Then we build the iOS app using React Native.

Challenges we ran into

  • Bluetooth Smart connection required quite a bit of effort.
  • Charting libraries currently available for React Native are very buggy and not really helpful.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • We got Bluetooth HR monitor to work with our app and collect measurements, without any previous experience with Swift.
  • We were able to derive HRV form RR-measurements received from the heart belt.
  • We managed to create a ready app that can be used by millions of people to do measurable meditation.

What we learned

  • Using Swift and React Native together
  • Hacking Bluetooth Smart
  • Even large challenges are possible to overcome as you dare to try!

What's next for aum - HRV tracking for meditation

  • Android app
  • Better charts and visualisations
  • Data collection for Real World Evidence research
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