Vagus Relaxation App

Technology #ua15-018

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John Allen
Distinguished Professor, Psychology
Janet Roveda
Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Richard Lane
Professor, Psychiatry
Managed By
Lewis Humphreys
Licensing Manager (520) 626-2574


The University has a PCT patent application for this real time Heart Rate Variability monitoring technology. A working prototype smartphone app (currently for Android operating system) uses physiological data about the heart to relieve stress. This information is gathered from a Bluetooth-connected wearable biosensor that analyzes an individual’s stress level. When stress levels are high the app provides the user with an intervention (instructions of guided relaxation respiration exercises). This app is effective because the physiological phenomenon known as vagal tone (i.e. the influence of the vagus nerve on the heart) is monitored and updated in real time to gradually improve the health and well being of the end user.


The American Psychological Association reports in its Stress in America™ survey that Americans consistently experience a level of stress that they believe is unhealthy. It is reported that six in ten Americans have attempted to reduce their stress level over the years 2007-2012. Wearable biosensors that provide consumers with their own health information are relatively new types of devices. The rapid increase of smartphone usage continues to drive growth in the market innovating the way these devices are used today.


  • Consumers can monitor and decrease their own stress level.
  • Promotes relaxation and provides a healthier lifestyle
  • Vagal tone protects the hear from serious rhythm disturbances that are the cause of sudden cardiac death
  • Reduces heart failure, mental depression, and anxiety


  • Adaptable to a variety of sensor types and easily configurable to suit user preferences
  • Relies on strong and scientifically-proven measure of physiological stress
  • Self-launches when it detects a high level of stress from the user

Patent Information

Patent Pending


Richard D. Lane, M.D.

Ph.D. Meiling Wang, Ph.D.


Lewis Humphreys

Licensing Manager, Eller College of Management

University of Arizona, Tech Launch Arizona

O: 520-626-1213