Monitoring Heart Rate with Common Market Smart-phones for Identifying Potential Signs that may Lead to Sudden Death

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Sektionen för datavetenskap och kommunikation; Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Sektionen för datavetenskap och kommunikation

Abstract: Context: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a phenomenon in which new-born-infants die, often during sleeping, and no cause of death is identified after the autopsy and examination. Assumptions can be made in order to understand what happened to the infant, e.g. heart failures and insufficient breathing rate due to the position of the infant, although deeper studies are hard to be performed, since recording real-cases of sudden infant death on camera is not so trivial. Objectives: Our main objective with the work hereby presented is to perform a study on practical issues that may arise when one is contemplating to build a mobile application for monitoring the heart rate of individuals. These issues may include the levels of accuracy of heart rate measurements that can be retrieved by the current technology, best room conditions for the application to work and positioning of the device in respect to the subject under monitoring. Our secondary objective with this work is to present a heart rate monitor prototype application at a conceptual level. Methods: We conducted a literature review and an analysis of the current available technology, approaches and applications for smart-phones. We conducted experiments on a controlled environment by taking heart rate measurements and comparing results obtained from one smart phone application with results obtained with one standard electrocardiogram tool. After gathering the outputs of the experiments, we analyzed the patterns with the ultimate goal to identify the best set of parameters for the application to work. Results: Our main achievements were obtained through the data that we collected. Although related this work with SIDS, we collected data from adults. The procedures for obtaining the Heart Rate with the application analyze the skin of an individual and, thus, it does not matter if it is an infant or adult. We identified relevant parameters that affect directly the performance of the application, leading it to malfunction. Finally, we proposed a prototype of a mobile heart rate monitoring, that we named The Mobile Heart Rate Monitoring System (MHRMS) at a conceptual level, adding-up functionality to the existing technology and also outlining the best conditions and positioning for it to work correctly. Conclusions: The main conclusion that we reached is that it is reasonable to make use of the current technology that are available in today’s smart phones for having a trustworthy heart rate monitoring tool.

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