Skip to Main Content
The purpose of this study is to comparatively evaluate the performance of different wearable systems based on indirect breathing monitoring in terms of susceptibility to motion artifacts. These performances are compared with direct respiratory measurements using a spirometer, which is accurate, reliable, and less sensitive to movement artifacts, but cannot be integrated into truly wearable form. Experiments were carried out on four indirect methods implemented into wearable systems, inductive plethysmography, impedance plethysmography, piezoresistive pneumography, and piezoelectric pneumography, to ascertain the performance of each of them in terms of noise due to movement artifacts, as well as to study the effects of different movements or gestures during each test. A group of volunteers was asked to wear all of the breath monitoring systems simultaneously along with the face mask of the spirometer while carrying out four physical exercises in a gym under controlled conditions. Data are analyzed in the time and frequency domain to estimate the frequency respiration from each wearable system and compare it with those of the spirometer. Results confirmed that all the wearable systems are somehow affected by movement artifacts, but statistical investigation showed that for most of the physical exercises, three out of four, piezoelectric pneumography provided best performance in terms of robustness and reduced susceptibility to movement artifacts.