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Data from: Hearables: feasibility of recording cardiac rhythms from head and in-ear locations


von Rosenberg, Wilhelm Christopher et al. (2017), Data from: Hearables: feasibility of recording cardiac rhythms from head and in-ear locations, Dryad, Dataset,


Mobile technologies for the recording of vital signs and neural signals are envisaged to underpin the operation of future health services. For practical purposes, unobtrusive devices are favoured, such as those embedded in a helmet or incorporated onto an earplug. However, these locations have so far been underexplored, as the comparably narrow neck impedes the propagation of vital signals from the torso to the head surface. To establish the principles behind electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings from head and ear locations, we first introduce a realistic three-dimensional biophysics model for the propagation of cardiac electric potentials to the head surface, which demonstrates the feasibility of head-ECG recordings. Next, the proposed biophysics propagation model is verified over comprehensive real-world experiments based on head- and in-ear-ECG measurements. It is shown both that the proposed model is an excellent match for the recordings, and that the quality of head- and ear-ECG is sufficient for a reliable identification of the timing and shape of the characteristic P-, Q-, R-, S- and T-waves within the cardiac cycle. This opens up a range of new possibilities in the identification and management of heart conditions, such as myocardial infarction and atrial fibrillation, based on 24/7 continuous in-ear measurements. The study therefore paves the way for the incorporation of the cardiac modality into future ‘hearables’, unobtrusive devices for health monitoring.

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