A NOVEL BCG SENSOR-ARRAY FOR UNOBTRUSIVE CARDIAC MONITORING

Anna Böhm, Christoph Brüser, Steffen Leonhardt Leonhardt

Abstract


Unobtrusive heart rate monitoring is a popular research topic in biomedical engineering. The reason is that convential methods, e.g. the clinical gold standard electrocardiography, require conductive contact to the human body. Other methods such as ballistocardiography try to record these vital signs without electrodes that are attached to the body. So far, these systems cannot replace routine procedures. Most systems have some drawbacks that cannot be compensated, such as aging of the sensor materials or movement artifacts. In addition, the signal form differs greatly from an ECG, which is an electrical signal. The ballistocardiogram has a mechanical source, which makes it harder to evaluate. We have developed a new sensor array made of near-IR-LEDs to record BCGs. IR-sensors do not age in relevant time scales. Analog filtering was neccesary, because the signal amplitude was very small. The digitized data was then processed by various algorithms to extract beat-to-beat or breath-to-breath intervals. The redundancy of multiple BCG channels was used to provide a robust estimation of beat-to-beat intervals and heart rate. We installed the system beneath a mattress topper of a hospital bed, but any other bed would have been sufficient. The validation of this measurement system shows that it is well suited for BCG recordings. The use of multiple channels has proven to be superior to relying on a single BCG channel.

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague