Image source: Polar

Study shows feasibility of using Polar H10 for ECG readings

A new study has shown that the Polar H10 chest strap can be used for ECG measurements and identification of Abif.

Released a few years ago, this is one of the best value heart rate chest straps around. In our review, we note that Polar is sitting on a winner here. If you are in the market for a chest strap for the first time, or if your existing device is nearing the end of its useful existence, the H10 is a great option. It is a reliable heart rate monitor that works with a range of devices, it packs excellent accuracy, a non-slip design, water-resistance and on-board memory.

But its abilities may potentially extend in the future to features beyond simple heart rate tracking. A new study has shown that ECG data captured by the Polar H10 is useable.


The study adds to previous research

The research was conducted in the Czech Republic by the Department of Internal Medicine I – Cardiology, Palacky University and University Hospital Olomouc, Olomouc. Published only a few days ago it shows that physicians can interpret H10 ECG data with minimal artefacts to work out the baseline heart rhythm, atrial fibrillation and premature contractions.

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For the study, the scientists strapped the H10 to 54 hospitalised patients, the same number of healthy people and 53 outpatients. Each of them recorded between one and two hours of ECG data with the device.

Results show that the H10 identified average heart rate of 77 bpm, 86.3% in sinus rhythm, 13.7% with Afib, 0.46% with atrial premature beats and 0.49% with ventricular premature beats. Around 98% of heart beats were classified as “easy to interpret”, while 2.16% was more difficult to interpret due to presence of noise.

This led researchers to conclude that ECG data from the Polar H10 can be used for both healthy individuals and those with a range of cardiovascular diseases. And that it is reliable for these types of measurements.

You can view the study in full on this link. This is one in a number of research papers that show the feasibility of using the H10 for ECG measurements. Researchers note that caution is recommended with patients with stimulated rhythm and those with atrial flutter.

Review: Polar H10, a more comfortable and accurate heart rate chest strap

Our takeaway

Will Polar make this type of functionality available? That is the million dollar question. It would certainly make the device more useful and would make a nice addition to the Flow smartphone app. Or they could develop standalone software to support the feature.

The app used in the study comes from https://www.kardi-ai.com/. But it doesn’t seem to be commercially available.

One sports tracking heart rate monitor that already provides ECG readings is Frontier X2 (read our hands-on review). It sits somewhere between a sports and a health wearable.

You can use Frontier X to supplement the stats that you typically get from your sports watch with additional insights. Is your exercise intensity causing undue strain to your heart and lungs? Can you push harder? Frontier X will give you this type of information. There’s even a live ECG function that can be useful if you are recovering from a heart issue or simply want to check on the health of your ticker.

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