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Technology Overview

OHSU # 2937 — Improved detection of heart-rate variability for wearable devices


Heart-rate variability (HRV) is a suggested marker of the autonomic nervous system, but artifacts produced by movement with wrist worn devices decreases the validity and utility of this data. Oregon Health & Science University researchers have developed an improved method of removing motion artifacts, understanding the amount of data that can be removed without affecting the accuracy of the HRV specific metrics, and accurately measuring HRV from wearable devices for better monitoring in outpatient care and clinical trials. This technology can be used for medical technology, clinical research, and consumer wearable devices.

Technology Overview

Heart rate variability (HRV) evaluates the beat-to-beat time interval (BBI) differences during the cardiac cycle. HRV has been shown to correlate with several medical conditions, and is particularly of interest as a read out for parasympathetic nervous system activity for mental health conditions. However, HRV is difficult to detect in wrist-worn devices, due to motion artifacts confounding BBI measurements. Dr. David Sheridan and colleagues have developed improved methods for continual monitoring and representative sampling of HRV data, with the following features:

  • HRV detection compatibility with wrist-worn devices, which are already worn by 1 in 6 adults in the US
  • Removal of motion artifacts through combined use with an accelerometer
  • Validated thresholds to optimize artifact removal and sampling intervals while maintaining accuracy of HRV measurements
  • Demonstrated utility in a pilot trial for monitoring HRV correlations with suicidality


Sheridan et al. “Heart Rate Variability and its Ability to Detect Worsening Suicidality in Adolescents: A Pilot Trial or Wearable Technology.” Psychiatry Investig. (2021) Link.

Sheridan et al. “Heart Rate Variability Duration: Expanding the Ability of Wearable Technology to Improve Outpatient Monitoring?” Front. Psychiatry 12(2021):943. Link

Sheridan et al. “Heart Rate Variability Analysis: How Much Artifact Can We Remove?” Psychiatry Investig. 17(2020): 960. Link

Licensing Opportunity

This technology is available for licensing.



Filed United States
Published United States WO 2022/060991 A1
Published United States US 2023/0346234 A1