Fusion enhancement for tracking of respiratory rate through intrinsic mode functions in photoplethysmography

Mikko Pirhonen, Antti Vehkaoja

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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Decline in respiratory regulation demonstrates the primary forewarning for the onset of physiological aberrations. In clinical environment, the obtrusive nature and cost of instrumentation have retarded the integration of continuous respiration monitoring for standard practice. Photoplethysmography (PPG) presents a non-invasive, optical method of assessing blood flow dynamics in peripheral vasculature. Incidentally, respiration couples as a surrogate constituent in PPG signal, justifying respiratory rate (RR) estimation. The physiological processes of respiration emerge as distinctive oscillations that are fluctuations in various parameters extracted from PPG signal. We propose a novel algorithm designed to account for intermittent diminishment of the respiration induced variabilities (RIV) by a fusion-based enhancement of wavelet synchrosqueezed spectra. We have combined the information on intrinsic mode functions (IMF) of five RIVs to enhance mutually occurring, instantaneous frequencies of the spectra. The respiration rate estimate is obtained by tracking the spectral ridges with a particle filter. We have evaluated the method with a dataset recorded from 29 young adult subjects (mean: 24.17 y, SD: 4.19 y) containing diverse, voluntary, and periodically metronome-assisted respiratory patterns. Bayesian inference on fusion-enhanced Respiration Induced Frequency Variability (RIFV) indicated MAE and RMSE of 1.764 and 3.996 BPM, respectively. The fusion approach was deemed to improve MAE and RMSE of RIFV by 0.185 BPM (95% HDI: 0.0285-0.3488, effect size: 0.548) and 0.250 BPM (95% HDI: 0.0733-0.431, effect size: 0.653), respectively, with further pronounced improvements to other RIVs. We conclude that the fusion of variability signals proves important to IMF localization in the spectral estimation of RR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101887
Number of pages11
JournalBiomedical Signal Processing and Control
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Particle filtering
  • Photoplethysmography
  • Respiration rate
  • Spectral fusion
  • Synchrosqueezing

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Health Informatics


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