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Sensors 2009, 9(12), 9572-9581; doi:10.3390/s91209572

Contact-free Measurement of Heart Rate Variability via a Microwave Sensor

Received: 19 October 2009 / Revised: 23 November 2009 / Accepted: 23 November 2009 / Published: 30 November 2009
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Measures of heart rate variability (HRV) are widely used to assess autonomic nervous system (ANS) function. HRV can be recorded via electrocardiography (ECG), which is both non-invasive and widely available. However, ECG needs three electrodes touching the body of the subjects, which makes them feel nervous and uncomfortable, thus potentially affecting the recording. Contact-free detection of the heartbeat via a microwave sensor constitutes another means of determining the timing of cardiac cycles by continuous monitoring of mechanical contraction of the heart. This technique can measure the heartbeat without any electrodes touching human body and penetrate the clothes at some distances, which in some instances may prove a practical basis for HRV analysis. Comparison of 5-minute recordings demonstrated that there were no significant differences in the temporal, frequency domains and in non-linear dynamic analysis of HRV measures derived from heartbeat and ECG, which suggested this technique may prove a practical alternative to ECG for HRV analysis.
Keywords: heart rate variability; contact-free; heartbeat; microwave sensor heart rate variability; contact-free; heartbeat; microwave sensor
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lu, G.; Yang, F.; Tian, Y.; Jing, X.; Wang, J. Contact-free Measurement of Heart Rate Variability via a Microwave Sensor. Sensors 2009, 9, 9572-9581.

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