Ambulatory monitoring is a method of acquiring behavioral and physiological data in subjects who are free to go about their normal daily activities, outside the confines of the laboratory or hospital environment. In the past decades, ambulatory monitoring has evolved from an innovative tool in fundamental research to a widely used method in clinical and applied research settings. Because ambulatory monitoring takes place during everyday life, in the subject’s own environment, such measurements have high ecological validity. A huge advantage of ambulatory monitoring over laboratory assessments is that it captures physiological processes that have a prolonged time scale, including circadian rhythms and wake-sleep patterns.
Ambulatory monitoring is used in Psychophysiology, particularly in the study of emotion and autonomic nervous system responses. In Psychosomatic Medicine, ambulatory monitoring is used to assess individual differences in the frequency and amplitude of physiological reactivity to psychosocial stressors compromising cardiovascular health.
The VU University Ambulatory Monitoring System (VU-AMS) was developed by the department of Biological Psychology and the Technical Department (ITM) of the Faculty of Psychology and Education to allow recording of autonomic and cardiovascular activity in a variety of research settings, including ambulatory monitoring in naturalistic settings. This website provides information about the VU-AMS hardware and software (VU-DAMS), a collection of scientific publications and support to assist with research using the VU-AMS device.