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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2012;2012:5030-3. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2012.6347123.

An ear-worn continuous ballistocardiogram (BCG) sensor for cardiovascular monitoring.

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Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Traditionally, ballistocardiogram (BCG) has been measured using large and stationary devices. In this work, we demonstrate a portable and continuous BCG monitor that is wearable at the ear. The device has the form factor of a hearing aid and is wirelessly connected to a PC for data recording and analysis. With the ear as an anchoring point, the device uses a MEMS tri-axial accelerometer to measure BCG at the head. Morphological differences exist between head BCG and traditional BCG, but the principal peaks (J waves) and their vectors are preserved. The frequency of J waves corresponds to heart rate, and when used in conjunction with an electrocardiogram's (ECG) R wave, the timing of J waves yields the RJ interval. Results from our clinical study show linear correlation between the RJ interval and the heart's pre-ejection period during hemodynamic maneuvers, thus revealing important information about cardiac contractility and its regulation.

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