A Signal Processing Method for Respiratory Rate Estimation through Photoplethysmography

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Moreno, Silvia
Quintero-Parra, Andres
Ochoa-Pertuz, Carlos
Villarreal, Reynaldo
Kuzmar, Isaac

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Sciencie &Engineering Research Support Society (SERSC)


Monitoring of respiration is crucial for determining a patient´s health status, specially previously and after an operation. However, many conventional methods are difficult to use in a spontaneously ventilating patient. This paper presents a method for estimating respiratory rate from the signal of a photoplethysmograph. This is a non-invasive sensor that can be used to obtain an estimation of beats per minute of a given patient by measuring light reflection on the patient’s blood vessel and counting changes in blood flow. The PPG signal also offers information about respiration, so respiratory rate can be obtained through signal processing. The proposed method based on digital filtering was implemented in a wearable device and tested on 30 volunteers, and the results were compared with the ones measured by traditional ways. The results show that there is no statistically significant difference between the data measured by the device and the traditional method.


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Biomedical signal processing, Photoplethysmography, Telemedicine, Respiratory rate