related with output heart beats, there is one early implementation available at
MDL-22144 (by Sam H) able to, continuously, push information from server to browser in order to keep connection open and avoid browser / proxy timeouts. But it's highly experimental and untested (mainly because current output architecture of Moodle 2.0, doesn't allow to "stream" such heart-beats in a nice way.
This issue is more about to avoid PHP max execution timeouts and logging backup & restore execution progress.
Surely it has points on common with
MDL-22144 because the logged information will be the one being sent in the heart beats, but they are definitively 2 different issues.
So, right today, I can say this nor
MDL-22144 will be fixed for 2.0.3 (due this week) and I'll try to get them fixed ASAP.