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Wearable Respiration Monitoring: Interpretable Inference with Context and Sensor Biomarkers

By Ridwan Alam, David B Peden, John C Lach

Posted 06 Jul 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.04.20146456

Breathing rate (BR), minute ventilation (VE), and other respiratory parameters are essential for real-time patient monitoring in many acute health conditions, such as asthma. The clinical standard for measuring respiration, namely Spirometry, is hardly suitable for continuous use. Wearables can track many physiological signals, like ECG and motion, yet not respiration. Deriving respiration from other modalities has become an area of active research. In this work, we infer respiratory parameters from wearable ECG and wrist motion signals. We propose a modular and generalizable classification-regression pipeline to utilize available context information, such as physical activity, in learning context-conditioned inference models. Morphological and power domain novel features from the wearable ECG are extracted to use with these models. Exploratory feature selection methods are incorporated in this pipeline to discover application-specific interpretable biomarkers. Using data from 15 subjects, we evaluate two implementations of the proposed pipeline: for inferring BR and VE. Each implementation compares generalized linear model, random forest, support vector machine, Gaussian process regression, and neighborhood component analysis as contextual regression models. Permutation, regularization, and relevance determination methods are used to rank the ECG features to identify robust ECG biomarkers across models and activities. This work demonstrates the potential of wearable sensors not only in continuous monitoring, but also in designing biomarker-driven preventive measures.

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