VOCO – The Right Fit for Your Research

cardiopulmonary fitness

Measuring Cardiopulmonary Fitness - (and the Lack of it...)

Every year I Race the Cat. That’s not some bizarre pursuit of a furry feline but a brutal adventure-race triathlon in the Cataraqui region of Ontario – mountain-biking, kayaking and orienteering over 4 hours of self-imposed torture. As someone on the brink of his eighth decade, don’t ask me why I do this because I don’t know. What I do know is that each year the dream doesn’t alter the reality, and there’s always the chance I’ll fall across the finishing line with a heart-rate of zero. But there’s a way to remedy this – to improve my VO2max, delay lactate acidosis, and train below my anaerobic threshold. All the tools I need to monitor my cardiopulmonary fitness level are included in Qubit’s new VOCO system, so there’s no excuse not to strap it on, climb aboard my mountain bike, jump into my kayak, or sprint through the woods hell for leather. Forget your sports watch, VOCO is the ultimate reality check. Although, checking my Garmin… great, it’s lunchtime already!

See below for more on what VOCO can do for athletes, kinesiologists, and human performance researchers.

Dr. Stephen Hunt. President and CEO, Qubit Systems Inc.

VOCO - A New, Wearable CPX Device

biking with VOCO

Rugged, and designed for virtually any indoor our outdoor activity, VOCO is a breath-by-breath CPX system that measures cardiopulmonary fitness parameters and energy expenditure almost anywhere. Simple calibration of our rapid response O2 and CO2 sensors takes seconds, and periodic autocalibration ensures accuracy even in changing environmental conditions. Weighing less than 1Kg and secured on the back with an ergonomic harness, freedom of movement is guaranteed for even rigorous exercise activities. An intuitive app controls all VOCO functions and provides instantaneous metabolic data.

VOCO - A New, Wearable CPX Device

VOCO - CPX components

Components of the VOCO System

  • Fuel cell O2 Sensor
  • NDIR CO2 Analyzer
  • Disposable/Sterilizable Pneumotach
  • Adjustable Face Masks
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • VOCO App
  • Intuitive Software Package for Post-Exercise Data Analysis
  • Backpack Harness
  • +8 Hour Battery Life

VOCO - A New, Wearable CPX Device

VOCO and the app

The VOCO app operates on any Android device (soon to include iOS devices) and provides instantaneous data, showing breath waveforms for O2 and CO2 as well as heart rate data. Powered by Bluetooth, the app allows autocalibration of all sensors at a user-defined frequency both before and during exercise. Calibrations take less than 3 seconds, so no valuable data are lost. Post-exercise, the app displays VO2, VCO2, respiratory exchange ratio, heart rate, and breathing frequency, and energy expenditure, all of which can be averaged over a user-defined number of breaths. The VOCO device incorporates an SD card on which all raw data are logged. Data continue to be saved on the SD card even in the unlikely event of Bluetooth communication loss between VOCO and the app.

Delving Deeper into the Data

Wasserman 9 Panel Plots

All data stored on the SD card can be downloaded to our customized Logger Pro

software for in-depth analysis. All raw data are plotted against exercise time, and parameter data (calculated automatically) are presented as graphs and tables. A Wasserman 9-panel plot for fitness diagnosis is generated automatically. Logger Pro has numerous mathematical and statistical functions, and you may generate your own graphs by plotting any parameter against any other. Data may also be exported in spreadsheet format for analysis in Excel, MATLAB and other programs. VOCO has all the capabilities of sophisticated metabolic carts used by physicians and kinesiologists.

Check Out www.VOCO-CPX.com

VOCO Powered by Qubit

The newly launched VOCO web site is a work in progress, with information for research scientists, kinesiologists, teachers, athletes, sports clubs and gyms. The Qubit team are compiling a series of white papers that explain the basis of the parameters that VOCO measures, and the ways in which these can be analyzed and applied to evaluate health and fitness. If you’ve ever wondered what all those Wasserman plots mean, we aim to satisfy your curiosity. Please visit www.voco-cpx.com often, and subscribe to our mailing list to keep abreast of new developments.

Please note that although VOCO incorporates the same technology as CPET systems used in clinics and hospitals, and has equivalent or better accuracy to medical devices, VOCO must not be used for clinical diagnostic or medical purposes. To keep costs down, we have not sought FDA approval for the device, and do not intend to enter the medical market.

So How Much Does VOCO Cost?

guci outfit

No, that photo isn’t misplaced. It was taken in Florence, Italy, at the Gucci store, where I was staggered to see how much people are willing to pay to make themselves look ridiculous. More than $2500 US for that jacket, and more than $350 for a ballcap with the Gucci label on it? Are people insane? Fortunately, at Qubit Systems we believe in charging sensible prices. For the past 28 years, we have been providing the scientific community with accurate and dependable equipment for research and teaching with pricing that takes into consideration the often limited budgets of our clients. Currently, VOCO sells for $12,000 USD, including all software and hardware except the Android device. What’s more, you get the personal attention and support of Qubit staff, several of whom are PhD-level published scientists. If you have any questions or concerns, we are always there to assist you, with everything from system operation to experimental design. We can’t say fairer than that. In fact, many of our satisfied clients say it for us:

The quality of their systems is equally matched by the service that they provide. All of their staff have always been extremely professional. They offer a personal, friendly touch to service that is not often found by companies today.Dr. Janice M. Coons, Professor of Botany, Biological Sciences Department, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL

Teaching Human Respirometry and Spirometry with Q-teach

Q-teach human CO2 and O2 measuring package

When teaching human physiology, it always surprises me how students love to use themselves as lab rats, with everyone from the elite athlete to the contented sloth keen to show off their perfect or parlous metabolic condition. Now, with Qubit’s Q-teach Human CO2/O2 Package, such exhibitionism can be had at a price geared towards teaching budgets ($6200 US including all hardware and software). The package includes an NDIR CO2 analyzer, fuel cell O2 analyzer, heart rate monitor, pump and mass flow meter, as well as all required accessories to carry out mixed-expired air metabolic studies. The package also includes a spirometer for pulmonary function experiments, as well as a teaching manual with detailed experimental procedures. And, for a more complete picture of student physiological condition, check out Qubit’s Human Electrophysiology Package, which includes sensors for EKG, EMG, GSR and a hand dynamometer.

Visit us at ACSM Meeting in Boston, May 28-31

VOCO hat

Visit us at Booth 208 at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Boston, Massachusetts from May 28-31, 2024 . If you mention this newsletter, we may have a non-Gucci, non-$350 US, Absolutely FREE VOCO ballcap for you, as long as quantities last.