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Noninvasive Measurement of Physiological Signals on a Modified Home Bathroom Scale

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4 Author(s)
Inan, O.T. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA, USA ; Dookun Park ; Giovangrandi, L. ; Kovacs, G.T.A.

A commercial bathroom scale with both handlebar and footpad electrodes was modified to enable measurement of four physiological signals: the ballistocardiogram (BCG), electrocardiogram (ECG), lower body impedance plethysmogram (IPG), and lower body electromyogram (EMG). The BCG, which describes the reaction of the body to cardiac ejection of blood, was measured using the strain gauges in the scale. The ECG was detected using handlebar electrodes with a two-electrode amplifier. For the lower body IPG, the two electrodes under the subject's toes were driven with an ac current stimulus, and the resulting differential voltage across the heels was measured and demodulated synchronously with the source. The voltage signal from the same two footpad electrodes under the heels was passed through a passive low-pass filter network into another amplifier, and the output was the lower body EMG signal. The signals were measured from nine healthy subjects, and the average signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) while the subjects were standing still was estimated for the four signals as follows: BCG, 7.6 dB; ECG, 15.8 dB; IPG, 10.7 dB. During periods of motion, the decrease in SNR for the BCG signal was found to be correlated to the increase in rms power for the lower body EMG (r = 0.89, p <; 0.01). The EMG could, thus, be used to flag noise-corrupted segments of the BCG, increasing the measurement robustness. This setup could be used for monitoring the cardiovascular health of patients at home.

Published in:

Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 8 )

Date of Publication:

Aug. 2012

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