Kick LL: A Smartwatch for Monitoring Respiration and Heart Rate using Photoplethysmography

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2018 Jul:2018:3821-3824. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2018.8513356.


With the growing popularity of wearable devices in the consumer space, interest in leveraging this technological platform in the medical field is rising. In this report, we describe a smartwatch capable of measuring respiration and heart rate using photoplethysmography (PPG). The device couples a photosensor, specifically tuned bandpass filters, and frequency content analysis to extract respiration and heart rate from the PPG signal. The results from the experimental device were compared to a commercial chest strap heart rate monitor. Respiratory rate measurements agreed within 1 breath per minute and heart rate measurements agreed within 3-4 beats per minute of the reference device. Furthermore, the device was packaged in an untethered wristwatch allowing for realtime measurements and analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation*
  • Photoplethysmography*
  • Respiration*
  • Wearable Electronic Devices*