The VU-AMS Device and Software

The VU University Ambulatory Monitoring System (VU-AMS) developed at the VU University in Amsterdam is used worldwide by many research groups to study stress and emotion in both laboratory and naturalistic settings. Over 100 publications feature the VU-AMS in research on a range of topics and in samples that include young children, adolescents, and adults (see publications). The device plays a central role in the ongoing cardiovascular stress and genetics research of the department of Biological Psychology and the Netherlands Twin Registry. This ongoing scientific demand from within has maintained the VU-AMS in a continuous state of innovation since its first prototypes in the early 1990's. The dedicated support of the Technical Department (ITM) of the Faculty of Psychology and Education guarantees high technical standards for the VU-AMS hardware and its supporting software suite. The current version is the VU-AMS5fs.

The current version of the VU-AMS can be used to measure:

  • Heart Rate / Inter beat Interval (IBI)
  • Heart Rate Variability (SDNN, RMSSD, IBI power spectrum: HF, LF)
  • Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA)
  • Pre-Ejection Period (PEP)
  • Left Ventricular Ejection Time (LVET)
  • Respiration Rate (RR)
  • Stroke Volume (SV) and Cardiac Output (CO)
  • Skin Conductance Level (SCL) and Skin Conductance Responses (SCRs)
  • Tri-Axial Accelerometry (Body Movement)


Intended use of the VU-AMS device is to enable non invasive ambulatory measurement of the autonomic nervous system for research purposes.  The VU-AMS is not developed for medical diagnostics.