Forehead monitoring of heart rate in neonatal intensive care

Title Forehead monitoring of heart rate in neonatal intensive care
Authors J. Stockwell 1; C. Kwok 2; P. Morgan 1; D.Sharkey 2; R. Hayes-Gill 1.

1. Optics and Photonics Research Group, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom

2. Centre for Perinatal Research, Lifespan and Population Health, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom

The presentation
Abstract Heart rate is an extremely important physiological parameter to measure in critically unwell infants, as it is the main physiological marker that changes in response to a change in infant condition. Heart rate is routinely measured peripherally on a limb with a pulse oximeter. However, when infants are critically unwell, the blood supply to these peripheries is reduced in preference for central perfusion of vital organs such as the brain and heart. Measurement of heart rate with a reflection mode photoplethysmogram (PPG) sensor on the forehead could help minimise this problem and make it easier for other important medical equipment, such as cannulas, to be placed on the limbs. This study compares heart rates measured with a forehead-based PPG sensor against a wrist-based PPG sensor in 19 critically unwell infants in neonatal intensive care collecting 198 h of data. The two heart rates were compared using positive percentage agreement, Spearman’s correlation coefficient and Bland-Altman analysis. The forehead PPG sensor showed good agreement with the wrist-based PPG sensor with limits of agreement of 8.44 bpm, bias of −0.22 bpm; positive percentage agreement of 98.87%; and Spearman’s correlation coefficient of 0.9816. The analysis demonstrates that the forehead is a reliable alternative location for measuring vital signs using the PPG.
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