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  • Silvia Buscaglione

Comparison between Chest-Worn Accelerometer and Gyroscope Performance for Heart Rate and Respiratory

Rate Monitoring

Romano, C., Schena, E., Formica, D., & Massaroni, C. (2022).

Biosensors, 12(10), 834.


The demand for wearable devices to simultaneously monitor heart rate (HR) and respiratory rate (RR) values has grown due to the incidence increase in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The use of inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensors, embedding both accelerometers and gyroscopes, may ensure a non-intrusive and low-cost monitoring. While both accelerometers and gyroscopes have been assessed independently for both HR and RR monitoring, there lacks a comprehensive comparison between them when used simultaneously. In this study, we used both accelerometers and gyroscopes embedded in a single IMU sensor for the simultaneous monitoring of HR and RR. The following main findings emerged: (i) the accelerometer outperformed the gyroscope in terms of accuracy in both HR and RR estimation; (ii) the window length used to estimate HR and RR values influences the accuracy; and (iii) increasing the length over 25 s does not provide a relevant improvement, but accuracy improves when the subject is seated or lying down, and deteriorates in the standing posture. Our study provides a comprehensive comparison between two promising systems, highlighting their potentiality for real-time cardiorespiratory monitoring. Furthermore, we give new insights into the influence of window length and posture on the systems’ performance, which can be useful to spread this approach in clinical settings.

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