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Wearable Armband Device for Daily Life Electrocardiogram Monitoring

Researchers Dr. Jesús Lázaro and Dr. Pablo Laguna, from Bsicos group, which coordinate Nanbiosis U27 High Performance Computing from I3A -Engineering Research Institute of the University of Zaragoza- and CIBER-BBN, in the framework of the European project WECARMON (Wearable Cardiorespiratory Monitor) are coauthors of the recently published article titeled “Wearable Armband Device for Daily Life Electrocardiogram Monitoring” in the Scientific Journal IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering ( Early Access )

Our long-term wearable armband is evaluated as heart rate monitor with 24h recordings during daily life”, explained Dr. Jesús Lázaro.

A wearable armband electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor has been used for daily life monitoring. The armband records three ECG channels, one electromyogram (EMG) channel, and tri-axial accelerometer signals. Contrary to conventional Holter monitors, the armband-based ECG device is convenient for long-term daily life monitoring because it uses no obstructive leads and has dry electrodes (no hydrogels), which do not cause skin irritation even after a few days. Principal component analysis (PCA) and normalized least mean squares (NLMS) adaptive filtering were used to reduce the EMG noise from the ECG channels. An artifact detector and an optimal channel selector were developed based on a support vector machine (SVM) classifier with a radial basis function (RBF) kernel using features that are related to the ECG signal quality. Mean HR was estimated from the 24-hour armband recordings from 16 volunteers in segments of 10 seconds each. In addition, four classical HR variability (HRV) parameters (SDNN, RMSSD, and powers at low and high frequency bands) were computed. For comparison purposes, the same parameters were estimated also for data from a commercial Holter monitor. The armband provided usable data (difference less than 10% from Holter-estimated mean HR) during 75.25%/11.02% (inter-subject median/interquartile range) of segments when the user was not in bed, and during 98.49%/0.79% of the bed segments. The automatic artifact detector found 53.85%/17.09% of the data to be usable during the non-bed time, and 95.00%/2.35% to be usable during the time in bed. The HRV analysis obtained a relative error with respect to the Holter data not higher than 1.37% (inter-subject median/interquartile range). Although further studies have to be conducted for specific applications, results suggest that the armband device has a good potential for daily life HR monitoring, especially for applications such as arrhythmia or seizure detection, stress assessment, or sleep studies.

The developments are being carried out using NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing (I3A-Unizar/ CIBER-BBN)

The WECARMON project is funded by the H2020 Research and Innovation Program of the European Commission. It is part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Actions, whose objective is to promote the professional career of young and brilliant researchers, expanding their knowledge through training, stays abroad and internships, in order to help them develop all their potential as researchers.

Article of reference:

J. Lázaro, N. Reljin, M. B. Hossain, Y. Noh, P. Laguna and K. Chon, “Wearable Armband Device for Daily Life Electrocardiogram Monitoring,” in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. 10.1109/TBME.2020.2987759

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