Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 213–220 | Cite as

Automatic detection of motion artifacts in the ballistocardiogram measured on a modified bathroom scale

  • Richard M. Wiard
  • Omer T. Inan
  • Brian Argyres
  • Mozziyar Etemadi
  • Gregory T. A. Kovacs
  • Laurent Giovangrandi
Original Article


Ballistocardiography (BCG) is a non-invasive technique used to measure the ejection force of blood into the aorta which can be used to estimate cardiac output and contractility change. In this work, a noise sensor was embedded in a BCG measurement system to detect excessive motion from standing subjects. For nine healthy subjects, the cross-correlation of the motion signal to the BCG noise—estimated using a simultaneously acquired electrocardiogram and statistics of the BCG signal—was found to be 0.94 and 0.87, during periods of standing still and with induced motion artifacts, respectively. In a separate study, where 35 recordings were taken from seven subjects, a threshold-based algorithm was used to flag motion-corrupted segments of the BCG signal using only the auxiliary motion sensor. Removing these flagged segments enhanced the BCG signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) by an average of 14 dB (P < 0.001). This integrated motion-sensing technique addresses a gap in methods available to identify and remove noise in standing BCG recordings due to movement, in a practical manner that does not require user intervention or obtrusive sensing.


Ballistocardiography Cardiac output Contractility Heart failure Cardiovascular monitoring Signal processing Noise identification 


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard M. Wiard
    • 1
  • Omer T. Inan
    • 2
  • Brian Argyres
    • 3
  • Mozziyar Etemadi
    • 4
  • Gregory T. A. Kovacs
    • 2
    • 5
  • Laurent Giovangrandi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BioengineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of Electrical EngineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  4. 4.Division of Pediatric SurgeryUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  5. 5.Department of MedicineStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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