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Investigation of signal processing algorithms for an embedded microcontroller-based wearable pulse oximeter.

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  • 1Biomed. Eng. Dept., Worcester Polytech. Inst., MA 01609, USA.


Despite steady progress in the miniaturization of pulse oximeters over the years, significant challenges remain since advanced signal processing must be implemented efficiently in real-time by a relatively small size wearable device. The goal of this study was to investigate several potential digital signal processing algorithms for computing arterial oxygen saturation (SpO(2)) and heart rate (HR) in a battery-operated wearable reflectance pulse oximeter that is being developed in our laboratory for use by medics and first responders in the field. We found that a differential measurement approach, combined with a low-pass filter (LPF), yielded the most suitable signal processing technique for estimating SpO(2), while a signal derivative approach produced the most accurate HR measurements.

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