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A novel and low-complexity peak detection algorithm for heart rate estimation from low-amplitude photoplethysmographic (PPG) signals

Erick Javier Argüello Prada, Rafael Daniel Serna Maldonado
Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology 2019 March 28, : 1-9
Low-amplitude PPG signals are more affected by noise contamination and other undesirable effects because the signal strength is comparable to noise power. Although several authors claim that decreases in the amplitude of the PPG wave should be addressed from signal acquisition and conditioning stages such decreases can also be associated with changes in the patient condition. In that instance, it is important to ensure continuous and reliable HR monitoring which, in turn, depends on how robust is the peak detection method. Numerous efforts have been made to develop algorithms for accurate PPG peak detection under high motion artefact conditions. However, little has been done regarding peak detection in low-amplitude PPG signals. In an attempt to address this issue, a novel and simple peak detection algorithm for PPG signals was proposed. Results show that our method could be a good contribution for robust strategies that can dynamically adapt their peak detection method to circumstances in which a decrease in the amplitude of the PPG signal is expected. Still, more extensive testing under a wide range of conditions (e.g. intensive physical exercise) is needed to perform a rigorous validation.


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