Home computer based performance evaluation

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A fitness evaluation and exercise system for home or clinic use has been developed using an Apple II computer with either a double 8-inch step or bicycle ergometer. The computer system directs the patient to a progressive exercise stress test using an increasing work rate. A beeping tone is used to direct the patient to climb the steps at a rate that starts at a work level of 2 METS and increases 1 MET every 3 minutes up to 6 METS. For the patient using a bicycle the work load is shown on the screen. During the test the computer monitors the heart rate and stops the test if the heart rate exceeds a selected preset maximum. For the patient there is both a graphical and digital display of the beat-by-beat heart rate and elapsed time along with the value of the heart rate limit. The program stores the number of heart beats that vary on a beat-by-beat basis from a running average in order to estimate possible arrhythmias or electrode problems. The computer predicts the subject's maximum oxygen uptake and stores the data resulting from the test on a disk. A program that controls the work level in order to obtain a target heart rate is used for the exercise sessions. The duration, target heart rate and maximal work load is set by the physician. If the system is used in the home, the patient can bring in the disks for review of the test results and exercise work levels and duration by a physician. One intended use of this system is for a home or outpatient clinic cardiac rehabilitation program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-81
Number of pages5
JournalBiomedical Sciences Instrumentation
VolumeVol. 19
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983


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