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Systolic peak detection in acceleration photoplethysmograms measured from emergency responders in tropical conditions

PLoS One 22 October: e76585, 201

Abstract: Photoplethysmogram (PPG) monitoring is not only essential for critically ill patients in hospitals or at home, but also for those undergoing exercise testing. However, processing PPG signals measured after exercise is challenging, especially if the environment is hot and humid. In this paper, we propose a novel algorithm that can detect systolic peaks under challenging conditions, as in the case of emergency responders in tropical conditions. Accurate systolic-peak detection is an important first step for the analysis of heart rate variability. Algorithms based on local maxima-minima, first-derivative, and slope sum are evaluated, and a new algorithm is introduced to improve the detection rate. With 40 healthy subjects, the new algorithm demonstrates the highest overall detection accuracy (99.84% sensitivity, 99.89% positive predictivity). Existing algorithms, such as Billauer's, Li's and Zong's, have comparable although lower accuracy. However, the proposed algorithm presents an advantage for real-time applications by avoiding human intervention in threshold determination. For best performance, we show that a combination of two event-related moving averages with an offset threshold has an advantage in detecting systolic peaks, even in heat-stressed PPG signals

Journal Article
Elgendi M, Norton I, Brearley M, Abbott D, Schuurmans D
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