Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-050306-104212

Document Typethesis
Author NameDresher, Russell Paul
TitleWearable Forehead Pulse Oximetry: Minimization of Motion and Pressure Artifacts
DepartmentBiomedical Engineering
  • Yitzhak Mendelson, Advisor
  • Kristin Billiar, Committee Member
  • Michael Leal, Committee Member
  • Keywords
  • sensor attachment
  • wearable sensor
  • pulse oximetry
  • motion artifact
  • contact pressure
  • remote physiological monitoring
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2006-04-26
    Availability unrestricted


    Although steady progress has been made towards the development of a wearable pulse oximeter to aid in remote physiological status monitoring (RPSM) and triage operations, the ability to extract accurate physiological data from a forehead pulse oximeter during extended periods of activity and in the presence of pressure disturbances acting on the sensor remains a significant challenge. This research was undertaken to assess whether the attachment method used to secure a pulse oximeter sensor affects arterial oxygen saturation (SpO2) and heart rate (HR) accuracy during motion. Additionally, two sensor housings were prototyped to assess whether isolating the sensor from external pressure disturbances could improve SpO2 and HR accuracy. The research revealed that measurement accuracy during walking is significantly affected by the choice of an attachment method. Specifically, the research indicated that an elastic band providing a contact pressure of 60 mmHg can result in decreased measurement error and improved reliability. Furthermore, the research validated that the two isolating housings we have investigated improve SpO2 and HR errors significantly at pressures as high as 1200 mmHg (160 kPa) compared to current commercial housings. This information may be helpful in the design of a more robust pulse oximeter sensor for use in RPSM.

  • Russ_Dresher_Thesis_53.pdf

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