Understanding how well someone is tolerating physical loading, and how this will impact on performance of physical tasks, is important for occupations where a high level of physical performance is important to success, such as professional athletes, defence personnel etc.
Our technology measures changes in the acceleration of heart rate during light exercise, which we have shown correlate with changes in maximal physical performance due to fatigue and/or adaptation to training.
There is currently nothing else in the market that is able to accurately predict changes in maximal physical performance.
Heart rate acceleration is measured using a heart rate monitor as a person transitions from rest to light exercise.
Changes in heart rate acceleration are modulated by signals from skeletal muscles which reflect the physiological status of the muscle. If the muscle is fatigued performance will be reduced and the signals from the muscle slow the acceleration of heart rate, but if the muscle will perform better it will signal a more rapid acceleration in heart rate.
Measuring the acceleration of heart rate in this way can be used to assess how ready a person is to perform physical activity that is maximal in nature, and can be used to inform changes in training and/or work schedules.
Many studies have previously sought to identify markers that are capable of doing this, but until now, no other biomarker, including measures of heart rate, have been able to predict reductions in exercise performance due to fatigue, or improvements in exercise performance as a result of positive adaptation to training.
This technology is relevant for situations where it is necessary to understand how a person is responding to a particular physical load in terms of whether it is going to reduce, or improve, their physical performance.
The most likely market is for athletes, to determine how an athlete is responding to training so the training load can be adjusted to optimise performance. However, the technology would also be useful for defence or emergency services personnel who have to tolerate high physical loading during training or performance of their duties.
The technology is protected by Australian and international patents:
WO 2012/000034 A1.
We are seeking a partner to commercialise the technology.