When the heart contracts, blood is ejected generating a pulse wave that travels through the circulatory system.
The measurement of this wave, which we term blood pulse wave (BPw) describes both the shape and rhythmicity of the wave.
The Heart Rate measurement addresses the quantitative element "how often" does the blood pulsate through my body. Blood Pulse Wave focuses on qualitatively "how exactly" does the blood pulsate. Whilst this is not a medical parameter with a standard reference range we are able to reveal fascinating insights regarding the demands that are placed on our cardiac function. Such demands and the resulting elevation/arousal of our physiology is very closely correlated to a number of potential stressors, whether psychological or emotional. It is because of this psychophysiological relationship we find BPw as an interesting proxy for stress.
- The shape and speed of travel of the pulse wave is related to the stiffness of the arteries. Stiffened arteries compromise the Windkessel effect of the arteries. The Windkessel effect buffers the pulsatile ejection of blood from the heart converting it into a more steady, even outflow. This function depends on the elasticity of the arteries and stiffened arteries require a greater amount of force to permit them to accommodate the volume of blood ejected from the heart (stroke volume). This increased force requirement equates to an increase in blood pulse pressure, which leads to an elevated BPw
- The rhyhmicity of the pulse wave is related to heart rate variability, such that low heart rate variability leads to high rhythmicity of the pulse wave. High rhythmicity is related to an elevated BPw
See here how we show stress in our App