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Physiol Meas. 2014 Feb;35(2):95-110. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/35/2/95. Epub 2014 Jan 7.

Miniature ambulatory skin conductance monitor and algorithm for investigating hot flash events.

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Department of Research and Development, Bahr Management, Inc., Middleton, WI 53562, USA. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


A skin conductance monitoring system was developed and shown to reliably acquire and record hot flash events in both supervised laboratory and unsupervised ambulatory conditions. The 7.2 × 3.8 × 1.2 cm(3) monitor consists of a disposable adhesive patch supporting two hydrogel electrodes and a reusable, miniaturized, enclosed electronic circuit board that snaps onto the electrodes. The monitor measures and records the skin conductance for seven days without external wires or telemetry and has an event marker that the subject can press whenever a hot flash is experienced. The accuracy of the system was demonstrated by comparing the number of hot flashes detected by algorithms developed during this research with the number identified by experts in hot flash studies. Three methods of detecting hot flash events were evaluated, but only two were fully developed. The two that were developed were an artificial neural network and a matched filter technique with multiple kernels implemented as a sliding form of the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. Both algorithms were trained on a 'development' cohort of 17 women and then validated using a second similar 'validation' cohort of 20. All subjects were between the ages of 40 and 60 and self-reported ten or more hot flashes per day over a three day period. The matched filter was the most accurate with a mean sensitivity of 0.92 and a mean specificity of 0.90 using the data from the development cohort and a mean sensitivity of 0.92 and a mean specificity of 0.87 using the data from the validation cohort. The matched filter was the method implemented in our processing software.

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