Wearable Heart Rate Sensor Systems for Wireless Canine Health Monitoring
Wearable Heart Rate Sensor Systems for Wireless Canine Health Monitoring.
There is an increasing interest from dog handlers and veterinarians in an ability to continuously monitor dogs’ vital signs (heart rate, heart rate variability, and respiratory rate) outside laboratory environments, with the aim of identifying physiological correlations to stress, distress, excitement, and other emotional states. We present a non-invasive wearable sensor system combining electrocardiogram (ECG), photoplethysmogram (PPG), and inertial measurement units (IMU) to remotely and continuously monitor the vital signs of dogs. To overcome the limitations imposed by the efficiently insulated skin and dense hair layers of dogs, we investigated the use of various styles of ECG electrodes and the enhancements of these by conductive polymer coatings. We also studied the incorporation of light guides and optical fibers for an efficient optical coupling of PPG sensors to the skin. Combined with our parallel efforts to use IMUs to identify dog behaviors, these physiological sensors will contribute to a canine-body area network to wirelessly and continuously collect data during canine activities with a long-term goal of effectively capturing and interpreting dogs’ behavioral responses to environmental stimuli that may yield measurable benefits to handlers’ interactions with their dogs.
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