A wearable ballistocardiography device for estimating heart rate during positive airway pressure therapy: Investigational study among the general population

Mark Gardner, Sharmil Randhawa, Gordon Malouf, Karen Reynolds

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which a person's airway is obstructed during sleep, thus disturbing their sleep. People with OSA are at a higher risk of developing heart problems. OSA is commonly treated with a positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy device, which is used during sleep. The PAP therapy setup provides a good opportunity to monitor the heart health of people with OSA, but no simple, low-cost method is available for the PAP therapy device to monitor heart rate (HR). Objective: This study aims to develop a simple, low-cost device to monitor the HR of people with OSA during PAP therapy. This device was then tested on a small group of participants to investigate the feasibility of the device. Methods: A low-cost and simple device to monitor HR was created by attaching a gyroscope to a PAP mask, thus integrating HR monitoring into PAP therapy. The gyroscope signals were then analyzed to detect heartbeats, and a Kalman filter was used to produce a more accurate and consistent HR signal. In this study, 19 participants wore the modified PAP mask while the mask was connected to a PAP device. Participants lay in 3 common sleeping positions and then underwent 2 different PAP therapy modes to determine if these affected the accuracy of the HR estimation. Results: Before the PAP device was turned on, the median HR error was <5 beats per minute, although the HR estimation error increased when participants lay on their side compared with when participants lay on their back. Using the different PAP therapy modes did not significantly increase the HR error. Conclusions: These results show that monitoring HR from gyroscope signals in a PAP mask is possible during PAP therapy for different sleeping positions and PAP therapy modes, suggesting that long-term HR monitoring of OSA during PAP therapy may be possible.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere26259
    Number of pages13
    JournalJMIR Cardio
    Volume5
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

    Keywords

    • Ballistocardiography
    • Gyroscope
    • Heart rate
    • Kalman filter
    • Positive airway pressure
    • Sleep apnea

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