Breathing Rate Estimation from Head-Worn Photoplethysmography Sensor Data Using Machine Learning

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Breathing rate is considered one of the fundamental vital signs and a highly informative indicator of physiological state. Given that the monitoring of heart activity is less complex than the monitoring of breathing, a variety of algorithms have been developed to estimate breathing activity from heart activity. However, estimating breathing rate from heart activity outside of laboratory conditions is still a challenge. The challenge is even greater when new wearable devices with novel sensor placements are being used. In this paper, we present a novel algorithm for breathing rate estimation from photoplethysmography (PPG) data acquired from a head-worn virtual reality mask equipped with a PPG sensor placed on the forehead of a subject. The algorithm is based on advanced signal processing and machine learning techniques and includes a novel quality assessment and motion artifacts removal procedure. The proposed algorithm is evaluated and compared to existing approaches from the related work using two separate datasets that contains data from a total of 37 subjects overall. Numerous experiments show that the proposed algorithm outperforms the compared algorithms, achieving a mean absolute error of 1.38 breaths per minute and a Pearson’s correlation coefficient of 0.86. These results indicate that reliable estimation of breathing rate is possible based on PPG data acquired from a head-worn device.




Stankoski, S., Kiprijanovska, I., Mavridou, I., Nduka, C., Gjoreski, H., & Gjoreski, M. (2022). Breathing Rate Estimation from Head-Worn Photoplethysmography Sensor Data Using Machine Learning. Sensors, 22(6).

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