imec - Synchronizing heart rhythm between people

At imec, Connected Health Solutions R&D

Synchronization of physiological parameters, such as heart rate and respiration, are important for human interaction. Physical contact and eye contact between lovers is known to cause synchronization. But what if there is no physical contact possible, or if people are just friends? At Lowlands, Imec investigated whether listening to each other’s heartbeat can lead to synchronization. This thesis research aims to address different aspects of synchronization and will make use of a large database collected at Lowlands 2018.


What you will do

Research has shown that physical contact can reduce pain and that people can physically synchronize together. It is known that physical contact between lovers can cause synchronization of heartbeat and respiration. In addition, synchronization is important for human behavior in general. However, if people cannot be near one another or are in a different relationship (friends, family), can synchronization still occur?

Within this project Imec Netherlands has collected a large data set in volunteers at Lowlands 2018. Heart rate and skin conductance have been measured using Imec’s Chill+ wrist band, while participants listened to each other’s heartbeat. This project aims to analyze this physiological data, together with contextual information obtained through

This thesis research aims to address different aspects of synchronization and includes the following steps: literature study to obtain a state of the art overview of the field, cleaning of the data and signal processing, data analysis and algorithm development. Finally, the student is expected to give a presentation and write a report. Depending on the results a journal publication should be prepared.

During the project the student will interact with different experts on the topic.



  • Literature study.
  • Signal processing.
  • Data analysis.
  • Algorithm development and/or machine learning.


What we do for you

By joining the Wearable Health Solutions team in Eindhoven, you will be part of a team of disruptive innovators and thinkers. Together, with our Researchers and Engineers, you will work on wireless and wearable healthcare applications that empower people to manage their own health. We invite you to be part of our ambitious team where your ideas will have an impact on our society and our future lives.

Who you are

  • MSc in Biomedical engineering / Computer Science and Engineering / Electrical Engineering.
  • Available for 6-9-12 months.
  • Basic knowledge of or affinity with physiology.
  • Followed courses on signal processing, data analysis and algorithm development.
  • Basic knowledge of Matlab and/or python.
  • Motivated student eager to work independently and expand knowledge in the field.
  • Good written and verbal English skills.


Click on ‘apply’ to submit your application. You will then be redirected to e-recruiting. If you know someone who could be the right fit for the job click on ’refer’.


Please be advised that non-EU/EEA country students that are studying outside of the Netherlands, need to have a work-permit to be able to do an internship in the Netherlands.


Apply now