Seismocardiography is the body-surface recording of vibrations produced by the beating heart. A high frequency (HF) accelerometric component of the seismocardiogram (SCG) is related to the heart sounds generated by the closure of atrio-ventricular and semilunar valves. This paper evaluates the feasibility of recording the SCG component associated to cardiac sounds by means of a wearable device originally designed for monitoring ECG, respiratory movements, body accelerations and posture in freely moving subjects. The method is based on the averaging of the HF component of the acceleration vector measured by the wearable system, and on the subsequent extraction of features from its envelope. The method is applied on data recorded in healthy volunteers in different postures and during sleep. Results indicate that it is possible to reliably identify the time of occurrence of the first and second heart sound within the cardiac cycle. They also show significant differences in the HF component of SCG between supine and standing postures. Analyzing the HF SCG in a volunteer sleeping at high altitude (4554 m asl) substantial differences were also found among three body positions (lying supine or on the left or right side). These differences are likely to reflect changes in cardiac mechanics induced by different postures of the body.
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