FAQs

BioHarness (22)

What does it measure?

ECG data – heart rate, heart rate RR, heart rate variability and ECG. Breathing Rate, Estimated Core Temperature, 3-axis accelerometry. GPS data is supported via an external Bluetooth GPS device.

What does it look like?

The BioHarness is an adjustable chest belt featuring conductive fabric sensors, which the BioModule snaps to. In 2013 a version will be available which connects to a BioPatch holder attached to the wearer by two ECG electrodes.

The device records data which can be transmitted via radio or other wireless networks, or downloaded via a docking cradle once the device is removed.

All functionality is contained in the cherst strap or BioPatch with no additional attachments required by the wearer.

How is it powered?

A lithium polymer rechargeable cell. Charging is by USB or other power source. Charge for 3 hours to 100% or 1 hour to 90% of capacity. Battery life in logging mode is currently up to 35 hours.

Is Charging the devices using the USB wall charger quicker than connecting to a PC?

The charge duration is controlled by the devices and is exactly the same in either scenario.

How does the wireless transmission work?

For remote monitoring (rather than downloading data after an exercise) a USB receiver can be used. The BioModule contains two radio modules – Bluetooth for short-range indoor tests, and ECHO for field use up to 600 yards line of sight with an optional field repeater. Bluetooth can also be used to communicate to Motorola XTS or tactical digital radios for First Responder or Defense applications.

What sizes are available?

Chest Straps Sizes:

Small (XS – M) 69 – 84 cm/27 – 33in
Large(M – XL) 84 – 104cm/33 – 41in
XLarge (L-XXL) Up to 129cm/51in

A range of washable cotton t-shirts incorporating the fabric sensor components are available for PSM Responder systems.

Will the BioHarness fit a female subject?

Yes – the best place for both men and women is on the chest at the lower sternum. The BioHarness fits comfortably under bras and athletic tops.

How much does it weigh?

Garment: 50 grams (1.76 oz)
Transmitter Unit: 35 grams (1.23 oz)

Is the strap washable?

The garment should be given a delicate warm machine (or hand) wash once per month of use. It can be rinsed in water after each session to disperse perspiration buildup. It should be hung to dry out of direct sunlight.

How long does it take to put on?

Less than 1 minute. The garment must be worn next to the skin.

Will the chest strap stay in place in active wear?

Yes. The tension required to keep the strap in place is adequate for most activities. An optional shoulder strap can also be fitted to keep the garment in place during very strenuous activities.

What happens if it slips down/around or gets twisted?

The width of the strap makes it very difficult to twist. If slippage is an issue, the additional shoulder straps should be used.

How does the breathing detection work?

The expansion and contraction of the thoracic cavity generates a size differential as measured by the strap under the wearer’s right arm. This differential is picked up by the strap sensor and sent to the BioHarness module on the strap. Signal processing in the BioHarness module produces a waveform and breathing rate in Breaths per Minute.

This is subsequently transmitted via an ISM protocol to the RF dongle or antenna. In the case of the Zephyr solution the data is imported into Zephyr ‘s PC application.

When viewing the Zephyr PC application, inhalation is denoted by a downward trend in the breathing waveform. This is because the distance between the sensors in the strap is decreased (compressed) due to thoracic expansion. Commensurately, exhalation (sensor expansion) causes an upswing in the waveform. Respiration at rest should appear as a sine wave; respiration under activity should appear as a higher frequency sine wave.

Signal processing and filtering that occurs in the BioHarness module is intended to produce ‘best in class’ performance with unmatched resistance to motion artifact.

What is the range of the Bluetooth BioHarness?

The BioHarness BT is a Class II Bluetooth device, which has a transmitting range of up to 10 meters.

What's the difference between ISM and Bluetooth?

ISM devices transmit on an unlicensed radio band of ~ 900MHz. Their transmitting range is around 50 – 100m, depending on the receiving antenna used. Bluetooth devices transmit at around 2.4GHz. The Bluetooth receiver must be within a 10 meter radius of the BioHarness. PSM systems then use a Bluetooth receiver/Radio Interface Device to relay the data over a digital radio network across much greater distances.

Do ISM and Bluetooth devices produce the same data?

Data produced by the two devices themselves is identical. However, the Bluetooth BioHarness can be connected to other Bluetooth enabled sensors such as Blood Pressure monitors, Pulse Oximeters (SpO2), Blood Sugar Glucometers and Weight scales.

Can ISM be used in my Region?

ISM bands vary from country to country. The two variants of BioHarness module (for ‘European’ 868MHz and “USA’ 902 – 927MHz) can be used widely in most – but not all – countries. Check your local radio frequency spectrum.

Can I change the radio channel of my device?

Yes, if it’s an ISM device. You can change channels within a range defined by the region the device was designed to operate in.

Will other radio sources interfere with the BioHarness?

No licence is required to operate in the ISM radio band. There may be interference from devices operating nearby on the same frequency. Specific filters have been incorporatedf to avoid interference from mobile phone relay transmitters.

Can I Log ECG data on the device?

No. ECG data is only available in transmit mode. All other data can be logged internally.

How comfortable is it and how conscious is the wearer of the device in use (i.e. does it have a negative impact on the wearer's focus on the task at hand?)

The 50 mm wide fabric strap is much broader and more comfortable than plastic sports-type heart monitor straps. The wearer is conscious of the tension in the garment, but it is not irritating.

Any other benefits?

Data from individuals can be stored and a database built up to create individual profiles so that danger points can be individually mapped.

Developers (2)

What languages does the SDK support?

There is no specific platform support. The document describes the BT SPP protocols, and the data packet structure. A .NET PC utility which can display data from the device will be included in July 2010

Can I use my PC/Laptop's existing Bluetooth connectivity?

The Bluetooth Test Utility in the SDK requires the supplied BlueSoleil USB Bluetooth dongle and drivers to operate. To use this utility, you need to disable any existing BT connectivity in your computer in the Device Manager. Alternatively, you can use any existing BT connectivity, but won’t be able to use the Test Application provided, or the BlueSoleil USB dongle. You will need to handle the Bluetooth SPP traffic yourself.

General (1)

Is Zephyr ISO compliant?

A pre-market notification for classification of the Bluetooth BioHarness as a 510K Class 2 Medical device has been submitted. As part of the process towards qualifying for this classification, Zephyr must be ISO13485 compliant.

HxM BT & HxM Smart (17)

Will the HxM work with my phone?

Zephyr doesn’t currently supply any application software, but there are links to 3rd party suppliers on the HxM page. You’ll need to check with the software providers as to whether your phone is supported.

The HxM BT is designed for use with Android and Blackberry phones.
The HxM Smart is compatible with iPhone 4s and iPhone 5.

How do I turn the HxM on?

You must wear the HxM – it will turn on automatically. Make sure the chest strap is tight enough, and moisten the sensor pads on the strap if you don’t appear to be getting a signal. To turn it off, remove the device from the strap.

We recommend that you always remove the HxM Module from the strap when you are through using it. Leaving the HxM attached to a damp or wet strap may cause it to remain powered on until the battery discharges.

How can I buy an HxM?

You can buy the HxM through our store.

Can I get an Android Application?

Yes – see the HxM Product page for a link to a supplier. You need Android v2.0 or later to support the Bluetooth SPP data from the HxM. Android v1.6 won’t work.

Is there an Application available for Symbian phones?

We are not aware of one at present.

Can I access accelerometer data from the device?

Not directly. The HxM has an internal accelerometer and outputs stride, speed and distance data based on this (and heart rate) which can be used by an application, but raw accelerometer data isn’t available.

Can I access heart rate variability?

Yes – if the application you are using does so. Heart beat detection timestamps are part of the output.

Can I use the HxM with Nokia Sports Tracker?

No – but you can use eCoach with some Nokia phones.

Does it contain a rechargable battery?

The HxM BT contains a Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery, which last 30 hours between charges.
The HxM Smart contains a disposable CR2032 Coin Cell battery, which provides 150 hours of use.

Does the HxM BT come with a battery charger?

Yes – a cradle with a USB connector. Use any USB charge source. Full charge takes 3 hours, or 1 hour to 90%.

How can I optimize battery lifetime?

Try and keep the device at around 75% of charge – use it for around six hours between charges, and charge for 1 hour to 90% capacity, rather than 3 hours to 100%. Store and charge in a cool place (indoors in the shade).

What are the warranty terms?

We’ll replace the device or strap if faulty, up to one year from purchase.

Is there only one size?

The chest strap is adjustable over a wide range. We can provide an extention if the chest strap isn’t big enough.

Is it waterproof?

Yes – the case is ultrasonically sealed, but it won’t work underwater. Bluetooth can’t transmit, and the ECG detection circuit becomes compromised.

How does the Speed & distance work? Is it by GPS?

The device has an internal accelerometer. It uses impact detection and an algorithm to calculate speed and distance. Any application which makes use of this data should include a calibration procedure for an individual subject – we don’t all run the same way!

Can it calculate cadence when I'm cycling?

No – the internal accelerometer detects impacts when you are walking or running only – this data can give cadence for these activities, but there are no regular impacts to detect when you are cycling.

PSM & Omnisense (16)

What database is used initially to create the threshold levels and measurement benchmarks?

BioHarness data can currently be exported to any database capable of supporting the .csv file format, which is a common data exporting file type.

If using for named wearers, how many data collection sessions would need to be carried out in order to build up an individual profile to be used as a benchmark for that individual?

A single exercise protocol can be devised which will establish heart rate and breathing behaviour during exercise and recovery periods.

How can you delete recorded data in the Analysis module?

In releases 1.1. and 1.2 you can’t, but will be able to do this from release 2.0 onwards – available April 2010.

When I export data to a .csv file, the timestamp data looks strange – why is this?

Windows uses Microoft® Excel to open .csv files by default. Excel uses its own Serial Date Format to display dates. See the OmniSense User Guide for instructions on how to reformat date values.

1) You pick custom number format, then click, d/mm/yyyy h:mm .
2) A custom version with seconds doesn’t exist so you add , d/mm/yyyy h:mm:ss
3) If you watn milliseconds add , d/mm/yyyy h:mm:ss.0

If you turn off the XTS – does the BioModule stop transmitting similar to the PSM Defense with Thales radios?

The BioMic is the master. Without the master having a Bluetooth connection (ie radio off), the BioHarness is in receive mode only and therefore does not transmit.

Is our BT transmission AES256 encrypted?

Not at present. This is planned for April 2010 release. The APCO standard does not encrypt data, only voice. We will add our own encryption.

Is it secure when passed through a repeater?

The APCO standard does not encrypt data, only voice. Operation through a repeater is same security as not through a repeater.

What does PSM stand for?

Physiological Status Monitoring

What is OmniSense?

OmniSense is the user interface for PSM Training, PSM Responder and PSM Defense Systems. The Live module displays streaming live data. The Analysis module displays data recorded during live operations.

What Operating Systems are supported?

Windows XP, Vista & Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit).

Linux and MAC systems are not currently supported.

What data can you see?

In real time, Heart Rate, Breathing Rate, Posture, Skin Temperature and Activity Level plus a number of performance parameters. Live data can be recorded and viewed graphically in OmniSense Analysis, to compare one subject’s performance over time, or up to 16 subjects performances against each other.

How are the measurements displayed?

As real-time data or downloaded data (i.e. after a training exercise). The data is shown as a combination of graphs, figures and icons which provide a visual warning which flashes alerts when the wearer’s measurements are exceeding safe thresholds.

How good is the ECG?

The ECG is indicative and should be used for troubleshooting purposes – comparison of noise levels etc. You should not make a clinical diagnosis using it, though features such as ectopic heart beats are clearly displayed.

How many subjects can I monitor?

A single subject using PSM Research. Up to 64 for all others.

Can the data be exported?

Yes, to a .CSV file.

Can data be backed up to removable storage?

Yes, though the in current implementation this must be done manually. Instructions are included in the User Guide.

How do you measure performance?

The system can calculate and record a number of parameters:- Maximum Heart Rate – Maximum Breathing Rate – Breathing Rate at second ventilatory threshold (VT) – Heart Rate at VT – Heart Rate Recovery. Trend Analysis can show a decrease or increase in these values, either during appropriate activties, or a controlled Fitness Test. This can give an indication of a subject’s relative improvement in (or loss of) performance.

How is performance data useful?

The system is best used as part of a training regime which includes periodic controlled Fitness Tests. These establish and record or update a number of parameters which measure a subject’s cardiopulmonary performance level. The real-time display is colour-coded to reflect a subject’s performance relative to these stored values. You can see how hard a subject is working.

What's the difference between Min/Max/Peak acceleration?

These values are all worked out using 18 samples taken in a one second epoch. The Min acceleration is the smallest of these values – it could be positive (if all 18 samples are psoitive values) or negative. The Maximum is the largest of these – it could be negative (if all 18 samples are negative values) or positive. The peak is the largest value out of the square root of (x2 + y2 + z2) calculated for each of the 18 x/y/z sets of samples. It will always be positive.

Responders (3)

If you turn off the XTS – does the BioModule stop transmitting similar to the PSM Defense with Thales radios?

The BioMic is the master. Without the master having a Bluetooth connection (ie radio off), the BioHarness is in receive mode only and therefore does not transmit.

Is our BT transmission AES256 encrypted?

Not at present. This is planned for April 2010 release. The APCO standard does not encrypt data, only voice. We will add our own encryption.

Is it secure when passed through a repeater?

The APCO standard does not encrypt data, only voice. Operation through a repeater is same security as not through a repeater.