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Reliability of heart rate and respiration rate measurements with a wireless accelerometer in postbariatric recovery

Cite this dataset

Jacobs, Fleur et al. (2021). Reliability of heart rate and respiration rate measurements with a wireless accelerometer in postbariatric recovery [Dataset]. Dryad.


Recognition of early signs of deterioration in postoperative course could be improved by continuous monitoring of vital parameters. Wearable sensors could enable this by wireless transmission of vital signs. A novel accelerometer-based device, called Healthdot, has been designed to be worn on the skin to measure the two key vital parameters respiration rate (RespR) and heart rate (HeartR). The goal of this study is to assess the reliability of heart rate and respiration rate measured by the Healthdot in comparison to the gold standard, the bedside patient monitor, during the postoperative period in bariatric patients. Data were collected in a consecutive group of 30 patients who agreed to wear the device after their primary bariatric procedure. Directly after surgery, a Healthdot was attached on the patients’ left lower rib. Vital signs measured by the accelerometer based Healthdot were compared to vital signs collected with the gold standard patient monitor for the period that the patient stayed at the post-anesthesia care unit. Over all patients, a total of 22 hours of vital signs obtained by the Healthdot were recorded simultaneously with the bedside patient monitor data. 87.5% of the data met the pre-defined bias of 5 beats per minute for HeartR and 92.3 % of the data met the pre-defined bias of 5 respirations per minute for RespR. The Healthdot can be used to accurately derive heart rate and respiration rate in postbariatric patients. Wireless continuous monitoring of key vital signs has the potential to contribute to earlier recognition of complications in postoperative patients. Future studies should focus on the ability to detect patient deterioration in low-care environments and at home after discharge from the hospital.


All data collected were analyzed retrospectively after patients completed the study. The American National Standards Institute standard for cardiac monitors, heart rate meters, and alarms defines accuracy as a “readout error of no greater than ±10% of the input rate or ±5 beats per minute (bpm), whichever is greater”. Therefore, in this study the acceptable error between the measurements was set at 5 bpm for HeartR and 5 respirations per minute (rpm) for RespR. Data management and analysis was performed using RStudio.   

The Healthdot starts logging directly after activation. Only the periods when there was logging of patient parameters were evaluated during this study.

For this comparative analysis, only the internally stored data of the Healthdot was evaluated, because it has a higher sampling frequency than the transmitted aggregated data. Because the sample frequencies of the HeartR and RespR generated by the Healthdot are different, the 8-sec HeartR data were resampled by linear interpolation between samples, obtaining a 1-sec interval for the HeartR data as well as the RespR data.

Extracted reference from the patient monitor and Healthdot measurements were represented on the same time frequency (1 value/second) and then time-synchronized. The synchronization procedure included as first step a fixed time shift of the Healthdot measurements by applying the time lag corresponding to the maximum of the cross-correlation function between reference and Healthdot measurements. The second step corresponded to a visual inspection of the offset-corrected Healthdot measurement and the reference to fine tune the selected offset in three different instances of the recording so to identify via these offsets eventual clock drifts. Clock drift was defined as any progressive increase or decrease in the offset over time, which was then corrected by linear interpolation of the time offset along the measurement samples. Only intervals with quality index > 0 (scale 0-100) were retained.

The vital signs of the Healthdot and the reference monitor were compared using the Bland-Altman method for repeated measurements. This method was used to account for within-subject variation by correcting for the variance of differences between the average differences across patients and the number of measurements per patient. The mean difference, or bias, between the wireless sensor and the reference monitor, and the 95% confidence interval (CI) (+/- 1.96 SD), or limits of agreement, were determined for both the HeartR and RespR data. Furthermore, the Pearson’s correlation coefficient was calculated to assess the strength of the association between the measurements of the Healthdot and the measurements of the reference patient monitor.

Because outliers were observed in the data, error bars of the mean differences between the Healthdot and patient monitor, including their confidence interval, were made for each patient for both HeartR and RespR. These error bars were created on the data with a 1-sec interval as well as on the data over a 5-min average. The latter analysis was performed because the Healthdot is currently designed to average data and send that data package to the cloud every 5 minutes, which represents the intended performance in clinical use.