Project Description

Recording of heart rate variability (HRV) is a non-invasive and continuous measurement method that allows investigating the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and its reaction to environmental influences. For a precise measurement of HRV data, a carefully chosen study design and environment are required to minimize secondary influences. One major influence to be avoided is movement. However, in the daily routine and for some scientific questions, movement can often not be avoided. If so, a manual or automated method to differentiate between artifacts caused by body movement and the actual psychophysiological effect is needed to ensure the data quality. In this approach, a chest-worn sensor was developed, that measures the heart rate using a single lead ECG and filters the measured change of the HRV caused by movement. Data from an integrated accelerometer is used to detect upper body movements that affect the resting heart rate. The movement corresponding timestamps are then used to filter the Interbeat Intervals (IBI) accordingly. Functionality and effectiveness of the sensor system has been tested against state-of-the-art sports- or clinical devices in varying scenarios. As our test series showed, motion filtering has a decisive effect when motion occurs, two-thirds of all cases showed a significant effect of motion filtering, with small to medium effect sizes for the parameters SD2, SD2/SD1, and SDNN. Thereby, automatic filtering of motion artifacts can help to significantly reduce the need for costly post-processing of distorted data sets. The results show a better data quality of HRV measurement, a method that is commonly used for the investigation of physiological processes in the field of chronic pain, psychology, psychiatry, or sports medicine.

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