Unobtrusive pressure sensors can be used for biological monitoring and long-term health assessment in smart homes. The challenge in detecting events from smart home data is that people have different mattresses, unlike in hospitals where bedding is standardized. This paper proposes to model central apneas using an under-mattress pressure sensor as a measuring instrument. The model uses three parameters, namely, a relative threshold and two time lengths, applied to a moving variance signal. The use of a relative threshold allows apneas to be detected under a variety of different conditions and improves results compared to hard-coded thresholds. The algorithm developed herein was applied to simulated apneas collected from pressure sensors placed under nine different mattresses. The parameters determined from the training set were applied to the test set and produced classification results of 0.78 positive predictive value (PPV) if the bed occupant's position is known and 0.75 PPV if the position is unknown. The use of the relative threshold approach overcomes the variability in mattress types found in smart homes.

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Keywords Adaptive signal detection, biological measurement, biomedical monitoring, pressure measurement, sleep
Persistent URL
Journal IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Townsend, D. (Daphne), Holtzman, M. (Megan), Goubran, R, Frize, M, & Knoefel, F. (2011). Relative thresholding with under-mattress pressure sensors to detect central apnea. In IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement (Vol. 60, pp. 3281–3289). doi:10.1109/TIM.2011.2123250