Fitness Score was originally conceived by its developer Dr. Alexander Riftine for the needs of the Navy. Specifically, the product was designed to meet the need for objective testing of the general health and special fitness conditions of Navy pilots, underwater divers, navy seals, and other marine personnel.
Research and development of Fitness Score began in January 1980. Between 1981 and 1982, the first trial version of the product was developed based on the Time Domain and Auto-regression Function approach. By 1982, it became clear that the Time Domain approach was fundamentally flawed as it did not appropriately reflect the internal structure of the heart rhythm. It was also revealed that the probability of erroneous assessments was at least 30%, which was deemed unacceptable.
In 1982, a new trial version was developed based on the Frequency Domain approach. A massive data collection effort was initiated that same year, and by the summer of 1986, approximately 12,000 samples of Orthostatic test data and 700 samples of Stress test data were collected and analyzed. One of the results of this analysis was a proprietary classification of the Transitional Periods during the Orthostatic test, developed in 1986.
To provide a meaningful and systematic interpretation for his entire collection of data, Dr. Riftine started searching for a fundamentally new methodology that would be more comprehensive and precise in measuring the individual’s current physical/physiological state, as well as health resources and genetic ability.
In early 1987, Dr. Riftine formulated a novel theory for the quantitative assessment of the individual’s functional state utilizing spectral analysis of R-R interval variability. This theory was based on Dr. Riftine’s original ideas in the field of Biomedical Cybernetics and Normal Physiology. The practical applications of the theory – specifically, its proprietary algorithms for the quantitative assessment of the individual’s functional state – were developed based on Marvin Minsky’s Frame Theory (artificial intelligence theory).
The first product based on Dr. Riftine’s new theory, Health-Express, was developed in 1988. It provided an objective assessment of physical fitness levels. The marketing campaign for Health-Express was subsequently launched in 1988.
In 1992 a new product, Nerve-Express, was launched. .Nerve-Express also dealt with the problem of reducing all possible variations of spectral function components (around 20-30) into a quantitative relationship between only two parameters: Sympathetic nervous system activity levels (SNS) and Parasympathetic nervous system activity levels (PSNS ). Nerve-Express was the first and only system to solve this problem of SNS-PSNS quantification. This technological breakthrough was achieved by the application of Dr. Riftine’s proprietary algorithms. In 1994, clinical studies using the Nerve-Express device were initiated at Cornell Medical Center. In 1996.
The Nerve-Express system was used at Columbia University during a study conducted by Dr. Mehmet Oz. From 1997 to 2000, a validation study of Nerve-Express was conducted by Dr. J. Thomas Bigger, Jr., M.D., Head of Research Holter Laboratory, at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
In 2014, a US Patent for Fitness Score assessment during Orthostatic intervention was granted.