We have partnered with the Biomedical department of the University of Milan to provide free Heart Rate Variability apps in the context of a new study investigating the effect of home isolation on the cardiac autonomous nervous system.
Prolonged isolation studies during quarantines have focused mainly on the clinical effects of isolation, reporting emotional disorders, irritability, insomnia, poor concentration, deterioration of working capacity, stress symptoms and decision-making skills. The reduction in physical activity seems to contribute to the establishment of these dynamics.
The purpose of this project is instead to monitor the psycho-physiological impact of home isolation that is occurring in Italy as a consequence of the general lockdown aimed at containing the pandemic spread of covid-19.
Psychological monitoring will focus, through the remote administration of validated questionnaires, on sleep disorders (Pittsburg Sleep Quality, PSQI), affective and emotional states (UCLA Loneliness scale, Profile of Mood States, POMS), on trait and state anxiety (State-Trait anxiety Inventory, STAI) and on the level of physical activity (International Physical Activity Questionaire, IPAQ).
Physiological monitoring will evaluate the modulation of heart rate by the autonomic nervous system (HRV), as measured using the Camera HRV app, so that questionnaires data and objective physiological stress levels can both be analyzed.
I would like to thank professor Giampiero Merati of the University of Milan for involving us in this project and I hope our tools we'll be helpful to gather objective data on ANS activity. Our own data tells quite a clear story, as we still struggle to adapt to the new normal.