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Contactless Impedance Cardiography Using Embedded Sensors

Pinheiro, E.C. ; Postolache, O. ; Girão, P.M.

Measurement Science Review Vol. 9, Nº 3, pp. 157 - 164, June, 2013.

ISSN (print): 1335-8871
ISSN (online):

Scimago Journal Ranking: 0,34 (in 2013)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.2478/msr-2013-0025

Impedance cardiography is a technique developed with the intent of monitoring cardiac output. By inspecting a few properties of the obtained signal (impedance cardiogram (ICG), the left ventricular ejection time can be derived with certainty, and an estimate of cardiac output is available. This signal is nowadays used in non-invasive monitoring, requiring the placement of electrodes over the subject’s skin, either ECG-type or in the form of encircling bands. The work here reported describes the implementation steps and the results obtained when embedding the ICG circuitry in a wheelchair’s backrest. The subject is seated normally, is normally dressed, and is completely unaware that monitoring is taking place. That means that the variation of tenths of ohm produced due to the cardiac cycle has to be detected with electrodes having substantial coupling impedance. Contactless ICG with embedded sensors was developed and tested on fourteen healthy subjects. The signal was always acquired, although respiratory activity is also important, constituting a noteworthy innovation in the area.