The Data Science Behind HRV with Dr. Marco Altini

Dec 1, 2016 | Android, Blog, Data, iOS, News, Podcast, Research, Science

Listen to the full episode here:

Episode Guest

Marco Altini, PhD

Data Scientist, Entrepreneur

Website(s):, BloomlifeHRV4Training

Social Media:

In This Episode

In this episode, guest Dr. Marco Altini joins us to share some of the nitty gritty of how Data Science plays a role in Heart Rate Variability analysis and other types of quantifiable research and self experimentation. We discuss data confidence, coefficient of variation, cross-sectional data vs. longitudinal HRV data, absolute vs. relative HRV, why to focus on RMSSD Time-Domain HRV over Frequency-Domain or Non-Linear, HRV during pregnancy, and much more.
Marco is the lead data scientist at Bloom which is a pregnancy wearable technology company and he is the founder of HRV4Training.
  • 6:55 – About Marco Altini
  • 9:40 – How to increase confidence in your data for decision making
  • 12:20 – Confidently estimating for Individuals vs Populations
  • 14:30 – The difference in confidence between 3 morning HRV readings in a week vs 7 HRV readings in a week
  • 16:30 – Coefficient of Variation
  • 18:20 – The pros/cons of measuring HRV over months vs over weeks
  • 18:55 – Continuous feedback loops: How to make better decisions
  • 20:20 – How to capture acute changes in Heart Rate Variability
  • 21:01 – What is cross sectional data? Observational research & establishing causal links
  • 22:56 – What to do with “Longitudinal data” from multiple points in time
  • 24:46 – How to take cross sections and longitudinal measurements of HRV
  • 25:52 – The problem with “causality”. Increasing confidence, using Interventions vs Observations effectively
  • 27:22 – The fallacy of Heart Rate Variability snapshots and the power of new HRV technology
  • 29:53 – How bad it can be to take 1-2 data points with HRV readings
  • 31:22 – What is regression analysis and how do we use it with Heart Rate Variability?
  • 32:46 – Predicting HRV values for a person based on certain characteristics (age, gender, bodyweight, genetics)
  • 34:06 – Absolute HRV vs relative HRV changes
  • 35:36 – Is your HRV score good or bad?
  • 37:41 – Which variables affect HRV the most? A systematic look at exercise, sleep, alcohol, and other factors.
  • 41:21 – Why HRV responds differently to the same training by different individuals.
  • 42:46 – Quick and dirty Heart Rate Variability readings. How wrist-based HRV measurements stack up.
  • 46:06 – The accuracy of various HRV hardware
  • 48:46 – The price of admission for measuring HRV. The cost of a good heart rate monitor.
  • 49:55 – Why focus on RMSSD and Time Domain HRV values instead of Frequency or Non-Linear values?
  • 52:06 – The challenges of HF/LF and frequency domain HRV measures
  • 53:06 – HRV during pregnancy – third trimester drops in HRV
  • 55:06 – where to find Marco Altini (besides in the podcast show notes!)

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Foundations of Heart Rate Variability

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16 Lectures | 3.5 hours | 
The Foundations of Heart Rate Variability course covers the foundational science and practical application of Heart Rate Variability in a way that’s accessible to healthcare professionals, performance athletes, coaches, and health enthusiasts alike.

This course will help you answer your HRV questions such as “What’s the difference between various HRV analysis methods like Time Domain, Frequency Domain, and Nonlinear?”, “How can I strategically use HRV to optimize training and performance while reducing stress?”, “What’s the link between HRV, health, disease, and illness?”.

With over three and a half hours of video content in easy-to-digest modules, cheat sheets, reference documents, Q&A webinars, and access to instructors through an easy to use portal, you’ll learn how to accurately measure and analyze HRV to recover faster, reduce stress, and objectively measure your health and fitness.