Non-Invasive Detection of Respiration and Heart Rate with a Vehicle Seat Sensor
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This study demonstrates the feasibility of using a seat sensor designed for occupant classification from a production passenger vehicle to measure an occupant’s respiration rate (RR) and heart rate (HR) in a laboratory setting. Relaying occupant vital signs after a crash could improve emergency response by adding a direct measure of the occupant state to an Advanced Automatic Collision Notification (AACN) system. Data was collected from eleven participants with body weights ranging from 42 to 91 kg using a Ford Mustang passenger seat and seat sensor. Using a ballistocardiography (BCG) approach, the data was processed by time domain filtering and frequency domain analysis using the fast Fourier transform to yield RR and HR in a 1-min sliding window. Resting rates over the 30-min data collection and continuous RR and HR signals were compared to laboratory physiological instruments using the Bland-Altman approach. Differences between the seat sensor and reference sensor were within 5 breaths per minute for resting RR and within 15 beats per minute for resting HR. The time series comparisons for RR and HR were promising with the frequency analysis technique outperforming the peak detection technique. However, future work is necessary for more accurate and reliable real-time monitoring of RR and HR outside the laboratory setting.