Breathing monitoring is crucial for evaluating a patient’s health status. The technologies commonly used to monitor respiration are costly, bulky, obtrusive, and inaccurate, mainly when the user moves. Consequently, efforts have been devoted to providing new solutions and methodologies to overcome these limitations. These methods have several uses, including healthcare monitoring, measuring athletic performance, and aiding patients with respiratory diseases, such as COPD (chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease), sleep apnea, etc. Breathing-induced chest movements can be measured noninvasively and discreetly using inertial sensors. This research work presents the development and testing of an inertia-based chest band for breathing monitoring through a differential approach. The device comprises two IMUs (inertial measurement units) placed on the patient’s chest and back to determine the differential inertial signal, carrying out information detection about the breathing activity. The chest band includes a low-power microcontroller section to acquire inertial data from the two IMUs and process them to extract the breathing parameters (i.e., RR—respiration rate; TI/TE—inhalation/exhalation time; IER—inhalation-to-exhalation time; V—flow rate), using the back IMU as a reference. A BLE transceiver wirelessly transmits the acquired breathing parameters to a mobile application. Finally, the test results demonstrate the effectiveness of the used dual-inertia solution; correlation and Bland–Altman analyses were performed on the RR measurements from the chest band and the reference, demonstrating a high correlation (r = 0.92) and low mean difference (MD = -0.27 BrPM (breaths per minute)), limits of agreement (LoA = +1.16/-1.75 BrPM), and mean absolute error (MAE = 1.15%). Additionally, the experimental results demonstrated that the developed device correctly measured the other breathing parameters (TI, TE, IER, and V), keeping an MAE of <=5%. The obtained results indicated that the developed chest band is a viable solution for long-term breathing monitoring, both in stationary and moving users.

A Differential Inertial Wearable Device for Breathing Parameter Detection: Hardware and Firmware Development, Experimental Characterization

R. De Fazio
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
M. De Vittorio;P. Visconti
Ultimo
Writing – Review & Editing
2022-01-01

Abstract

Breathing monitoring is crucial for evaluating a patient’s health status. The technologies commonly used to monitor respiration are costly, bulky, obtrusive, and inaccurate, mainly when the user moves. Consequently, efforts have been devoted to providing new solutions and methodologies to overcome these limitations. These methods have several uses, including healthcare monitoring, measuring athletic performance, and aiding patients with respiratory diseases, such as COPD (chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease), sleep apnea, etc. Breathing-induced chest movements can be measured noninvasively and discreetly using inertial sensors. This research work presents the development and testing of an inertia-based chest band for breathing monitoring through a differential approach. The device comprises two IMUs (inertial measurement units) placed on the patient’s chest and back to determine the differential inertial signal, carrying out information detection about the breathing activity. The chest band includes a low-power microcontroller section to acquire inertial data from the two IMUs and process them to extract the breathing parameters (i.e., RR—respiration rate; TI/TE—inhalation/exhalation time; IER—inhalation-to-exhalation time; V—flow rate), using the back IMU as a reference. A BLE transceiver wirelessly transmits the acquired breathing parameters to a mobile application. Finally, the test results demonstrate the effectiveness of the used dual-inertia solution; correlation and Bland–Altman analyses were performed on the RR measurements from the chest band and the reference, demonstrating a high correlation (r = 0.92) and low mean difference (MD = -0.27 BrPM (breaths per minute)), limits of agreement (LoA = +1.16/-1.75 BrPM), and mean absolute error (MAE = 1.15%). Additionally, the experimental results demonstrated that the developed device correctly measured the other breathing parameters (TI, TE, IER, and V), keeping an MAE of <=5%. The obtained results indicated that the developed chest band is a viable solution for long-term breathing monitoring, both in stationary and moving users.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11587/479326
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