Evaluation of the accuracy and reliability for photoplethysmography based heart rate and beat-to-beat detection during daily activities
With the advances in sensor technology and the emergence of new sensor systems, it is important to assess the accuracy of these devices. In this paper, we describe an evaluation study for two wrist-worn devices, namely PulseOn (PO) and Empatica E4 (E4), measuring photoplethysmography – based heart rate (PPG HR) and inter-beat intervals (IBIs). The accuracy and reliability of PPG HR and beat-to-beat detection are evaluated with respect to electrocardiography (ECG) – based HR and IBIs during different daily activities, such as sitting, standing, household work and cycling. The evaluation study employed data from twenty male subjects. The absolute difference of PPG and ECG HR was less than 10 bpm for 90-99% and 81-97% of time for PO and E4, respectively. The accuracy and reliability of the devices were decreased during household work due to the excess hand movements. On average, the mean absolute error in HR was 2.5 bpm higher in PO and 3.7 bpm higher in E4 during household work than during sitting. The percentage of correctly detected heartbeats was 89% for PO and 68% for E4 during sitting but 76% for PO and only 9% for E4 during household work. PO showed better beat-to-beat detection accuracy than E4 in all activities. The errors in heart rate variability measure (HRV) of root mean square of successive inter-beat interval differences were 3.5±3.9 ms for PO and 10.2±6.7 ms for E4 during sitting, but 18.0±10.9 ms for PO and 48.7±21.8 ms for E4 during cycling. As a conclusion, PPG – based wrist-worn devices are accurate and reliable for HR and beat-to-beat detection when the amount of hand movements is not excess but HRV can be estimated from PPG IBI data reliably only during resting conditions. Moreover, there were significant differences in accuracy between different devices.
Keywordswearable sensor PPG HR HRV
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