Introduction: One of the challenges in physiological research is the acquisition of good quality, reliable data, especially in the real-world environment. Motor sports provide a unique and challenging environment in which to test the operation and utility of equipment used for physiological data acquisition. Impedance cardiography (IC) is a non-invasive technique for determining stroke volume (SV) and cardiac output (Q̇). The aim of this feasibility study was to determine if IC could be used to acquire reliable, good quality cardiovascular data in a dynamic motion environment such as in a racing car. This summary overviews the use of a mobile physiological testing apparatus in dynamic real world setting. As reviewed, many physiological indicators have been assessed in the motor racing setting. However cardiovascular outputs including SV and Q̇ have not been measured in such a volatile environment. Methods: Six professional racecar drivers had cardiovascular data (heart rate and SV) acquired via IC while driving their cars under full race-speed conditions. Results: The subjects all completed their driving tasks with no detriment. Despite multiple external influences on cardiovascular function under driving conditions, the data acquired via IC were free from interference, consistent, and within the expected physiological range. Discussion: The results of this study demonstrate that useful cardiovascular data can be successfully acquired via IC in a dynamic motion environment. The potential applications of IC technology in the dynamic motion environments of aviation, space, and motor sports are numerous and diverse. Further research and development will no doubt lead to improved and more widespread applications of IC in the future.
- Stroke volume