Syrine Slim

Syrine Slim

Bachelor's Thesis

Validation of Heart Rate Variability Measurements of Wearable Devices Used Among Pregnant Women

Michael Nissen (M.Sc.), Prof. Dr. Björn Eskofier

04/2020 – 09/2020

Smartwatches and fitness trackers provide consumers with an accessible way to monitor various health-related parameters, including their heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) [1]. At the same time, the assessment and monitoring of vital signs is of great interest to the medical research community [2], as it allows to assess patient’s health development and provides doctors with more comprehensive insights into their patients’ condition. Therefore, the use of wearables is particularly interesting in the context of longitudinal medical research studies [3]. This also applies to the SMART Start project, which aims to improve maternity care through the application of wearable devices. In this particular setting, it is an additional important goal to determine the usability of wearable recording technologies among pregnant women, for which only very few evaluation studies exist and a minimum level of data accuracy needs to be ensured [4].

Thus, the aim of this research is to validate selected consumer devices for longitudinal study use among pregnant women. Consequently, the research question of this thesis is whether it is possible to accurately record HR and HRV data with the respective devices and whether a difference exists to pregnant women for signal or parameter validity.

[1] Duarte Dias and João Paulo Silva Cunha. Wearable Health Devices—Vital Sign Monitoring, Systems and Technologies. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 18(8), August 2018. Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI).
[2] Idar Johan Brekke, Lars Håland Puntervoll, Peter Bank Pedersen, John Kellett, and Mikkel Brabrand. The value of vital sign trends in predicting and monitoring clinical deterioration: A systematic review. PloS One, 14(1):e0210875, 2019.
[3] Jessilyn Dunn, Ryan Runge, and Michael Snyder. Wearables and the medical revolution. Personalized Medicine, 15(5):429–448, September 2018. Publisher: Future Medicine.
[4] David R. Bassett, Alex Rowlands, and Stewart G. Trost. Calibration and validation of wearable monitors. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 44(1 Suppl 1):S32–38, January 2012.
[5] Jonathan M. Peake, Graham Kerr, and John P. Sullivan. A Critical Review of Consumer Wearables, Mobile Applications, and Equipment for Providing Biofeedback, Monitoring Stress, and Sleep in Physically Active Populations. Frontiers in Physiology, 9:743, 2018