Over three years ago, I had the opportunity to review the emWave Personal Stress Reliever. This is a portable handheld device that allows you to monitor your heartrate and control your overall stress level. Another product that has come across my desk is the Heart Wizard. This product also promotes itself as a stress reduction product.
The main difference between the emWave and the Heart Wizard is that the emWave is a stand alone product and the Heart Wizard works with a Windows based computer to be functional in anyway. What comes in the package:
- Heart Wizard: Pulse Wave Monitor – USD based adapter for the pulse sensor
- Ear clip bio Sensor
- CD: MS Windows 2000 – XP – Vista compatible software
Though the Heart Wizard is not a portable device in itself, a Windows based laptop or netbook can certainly allow you to take the whole package with you wherever you need to monitor and control your stress level.
First time running the software the program checks for any updates. If you have a slow download connection, I would suggest you leave the updating to another time. After this process you will be asked to log into your online account. I would have liked the ability to register an account from this login screen but I was not able to. Cancel just causes the program to exit. Back to the instructions, it does indicate that I must register an account before using the Heart Wizard. This is not perfectly clear because using the Heart Monitor to me means the pulse sensor and not the ability to run the software itself to setup the USB adapter. Once the software has been intially installed, you can plug in the USB adapter to install the human interface driver software automatically.
Next step for me was to create an online account by going to http://account.awscenter.com I would have prefered to have been sent to http://account.awscenter.com/Forms/Register.aspx instead of clicking create new account from the first page. Another beef I have is that the account creation screen says “Create a Heart Wizard Account” with a blank input screen. That area of the screen is not clearly marked as to the information to be entered. Reading the small grey print on the right hand side of the screen indicates I need to enter the registration code printed on the outside of the CD paper sleeve. Make sure you do not lose the sleeve. I would have prefered the registration code to be printed directly on the CD itself. The registration code has capital letters and numbers. You do not need to enter capital letters online for the registration code to be accepted. This can also create some confusion with novice computer users.
The software installed on the PC is only functional when you are logged into the companies website. This prevents anyone from using the product as a stand alone system which greatly reduces the useability of the product. A highspeed Internet connection is recommended.
The Heart Wizard hardware detects your pulse rate using the bio sensor which clips onto your ear lobe. The software then stores this information for future reference. The bio sensor is very comfortable and simple to attach. When the Heart Wizard is used on a regular basis, you can track your pulse rate over time and access your overall heart condition.
Simple tests are performed online to determine your stress level and initial heart rates.
- Poor documentation and online setup.
- Does not provide stand alone functionality. Highspeed Internet connection required for operation.
- Only provides access to a portion of the online features plus a subcription is required for continued access to the saved progress data after 12 months.
- Too pricey just for the package itself since the bio senor plus adapter only works when connected to the Heart Wizard website via a separate computer system.
- Ownership of product cannot be transfered once the software has been registered online.
- MAC OS not supported
The overall layout of the online features are not very user friendly. The package does not provide the details that can be easily discussed with your home doctor which is very important when your health is the main reason for this package. The retail price of $289.00 USD is just too high for the Heart Wizard adapter even with a one year free online subscription worth $99.00 USD. The Heart Wizard sensor alone is sold @ $195.00 USD which is also too expensive for this type of product.
Final Verdict: Not Recommended