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Papers of the Week

2022 Nov 16

Sensors (Basel)



Design and Validation of a Multimodal Wearable Device for Simultaneous Collection of Electrocardiogram, Electromyogram, and Electrodermal Activity.


McNaboe R, Beardslee L, Kong Y, Smith BN, Chen I-P, Posada-Quintero HF, Chon KH
Sensors (Basel). 2022 Nov 16; 22(22).
PMID: 36433449.


Bio-signals are being increasingly used for the assessment of pathophysiological conditions including pain, stress, fatigue, and anxiety. For some approaches, a single signal is not sufficient to provide a comprehensive diagnosis; however, there is a growing consensus that multimodal approaches allow higher sensitivity and specificity. For instance, in visceral pain subjects, the autonomic activation can be inferred using electrodermal activity (EDA) and heart rate variability derived from the electrocardiogram (ECG), but including the muscle activation detected from the surface electromyogram (sEMG) can better differentiate the disease that causes the pain. There is no wearable device commercially capable of collecting these three signals simultaneously. This paper presents the validation of a novel multimodal low profile wearable data acquisition device for the simultaneous collection of EDA, ECG, and sEMG signals. The device was validated by comparing its performance to laboratory-scale reference devices. N = 20 healthy subjects were recruited to participate in a four-stage study that exposed them to an array of cognitive, orthostatic, and muscular stimuli, ensuring the device is sensitive to a range of stressors. Time and frequency domain analyses for all three signals showed significant similarities between our device and the reference devices. Correlation of sEMG metrics ranged from 0.81 to 0.95 and EDA/ECG metrics showed few instances of significant difference in trends between our device and the references. With only minor observed differences, we demonstrated the ability of our device to collect EDA, sEMG, and ECG signals. This device will enable future practical and impactful advances in the field of chronic pain and stress measurement and can confidently be implemented in related studies.