Photoplethysmography (PPG) is a valuable technique for noninvasively evaluating physiological parameters. However, traditional PPG devices have significant limitations in high-motion and low-perfusion environments. To overcome these limitations, we investigated the accuracy of a clinically novel PPG site using SPYDR®
, a new PPG sensor suite, against arterial blood gas (ABG) measurements as well as other commercial PPG sensors at the finger and forehead in hypoxic environments. SPYDR utilizes a reflectance PPG sensor applied behind the ear, between the pinna and the hairline, on the mastoid process, above the sternocleidomastoid muscle, near the posterior auricular artery in a self-contained ear cup system. ABG revealed accuracy of SPYDR with a root mean square error of 2.61% at a 70–100% range, meeting FDA requirements for PPG sensor accuracy. Subjects were also instrumented with SPYDR, as well as finger and forehead PPG sensors, and pulse rate (PR) and oxygen saturation (SpO2
) were measured and compared at various reduced oxygen profiles with a reduced oxygen breathing device (ROBD). SPYDR was shown to be as accurate as other sensors in reduced oxygen environments with a Pearson’s correlation >93% for PR and SpO2
. In addition, SPYDR responded to changes in SpO2
up to 50 s faster than PPG measurements at the finger and forehead.
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