The VU University Ambulatory Monitoring System (VU-AMS) is used world-wide by over 40 research groups to study the autonomic nervous system in a variety of naturalistic and experimental settings. It has been used to study the effects of acute mental and social stress, ADHD, aggression, anxiety and depressive disorders, poor attachment, circadian rhythms, exercise training, hyperventilation, migraine, sleep, sleep deprivation, sleep disorders, chronic work stress, repeated worrying, and in studies linking the autonomic nervous system to metabolic and immunological risk factors
The device plays a central role in the ongoing genetics research on autonomic and cardiovascular stress-reactivity at the department of Biological Psychology and in the Netherlands Twin Registry, and has been a central theme in 11 PhD theses.
Due to its non-invasive character the VU-AMS can be applied to almost all subjects, including vulnerable groups like very young children (age < 1 year), pregnant women and severe mentally retarded subjects.
Currently over 320 VU-AMS systems have been produced. About one-third have been used internally to support research at the Vrije Universiteit; two-thirds of these systems have been sold world wide. All VU-AMS income is completely reinvested in further technical development of the VU-AMS hardware and software and scientific validation of the parameters measured by the system.
A main network of scientific collaboration is maintained by prof. dr. Eco de Geus with a number of VU-AMS researchers in the Netherlands and abroad.