A respiratory monitoring device based on clavicular motion

D. G. Pitts, M. K. Patel, P. O. Lang, A. J. Sinclair, R. Aspinall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Respiratory rate is one of the key vital signs yet unlike temperature, heart rate or blood pressure, there is no simple and low cost measurement device for medical use. Here we discuss the development of a respiratory sensor based upon clavicular motion and the findings of a pilot study comparing respiratory rate readings derived from clavicular and thoracic motion with an expiratory breath flow reference sensor. Simultaneously sampled data from resting volunteers (n = 8) was analysed to determine the location of individual breaths in the data set and from these, breath periods and frequency were calculated. Clavicular sensor waveforms were found to be more consistent and of greater amplitude than those from the thoracic device, demonstrating good alignment with the reference waveform. On comparing breath by breath periods a close agreement was observed with the reference, with mean clavicular respiratory rate R 2 values of 0.89 (lateral) and 0.98 (longitudinal-axis). This pilot study demonstrates the viability of clavicular respiratory sensing. The sensor is unobtrusive, unaffected by bioelectrical or electrode problems and easier to determine and more consistent than thoracic motion sensing. With relatively basic signal conditioning and processing requirements, it could provide an ideal platform for a low-cost respiratory monitor.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberN51
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number8
Early online date17 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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