Sensors (2020-09-01)

A Wearable Device for Breathing Frequency Monitoring: A Pilot Study on Patients with Muscular Dystrophy

  • Ambra Cesareo,
  • Santa Aurelia Nido,
  • Emilia Biffi,
  • Sandra Gandossini,
  • Maria Grazia D’Angelo,
  • Andrea Aliverti

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 20, no. 5346
p. 5346


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Patients at risk of developing respiratory dysfunctions, such as patients with severe forms of muscular dystrophy, need a careful respiratory assessment, and periodic follow-up visits to monitor the progression of the disease. In these patients, at-home continuous monitoring of respiratory activity patterns could provide additional understanding about disease progression, allowing prompt clinical intervention. The core aim of the present study is thus to investigate the feasibility of using an innovative wearable device for respiratory monitoring, particularly breathing frequency variation assessment, in patients with muscular dystrophy. A comparison of measurements of breathing frequency with gold standard methods showed that the device based on the inertial measurement units (IMU-based device) provided optimal results in terms of accuracy errors, correlation, and agreement. Participants positively evaluated the device for ease of use, comfort, usability, and wearability. Moreover, preliminary results confirmed that breathing frequency is a valuable breathing parameter to monitor, at the clinic and at home, because it strongly correlates with the main indexes of respiratory function.