Comparison of a Custom Functional Near-infrared Spectroscopy Sensor, a Peripheral SpO2 Sensor, and a Standard Laboratory Sensor (Biopac) for RR-Interval Assessment

Bracken, B.1, Amazeen, G.2, Likens, A.2, Demir, M.2, and Gibbons, C.2

Presented at the 11th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies (BIOSTEC 2018), Funchal, Portugal (January 2018)

Across many careers, individuals face alternating periods of high and low cognitive workload which can impair cognitive function and undermine job performance. We have designed and are developing an unobtrusive system to Monitor, Extract, and Decode Indicators of Cognitive Workload (MEDIC) in real-world environments. With our partners at Biosignals Plux, we designed and manufactured a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) device that measures brain blood oxygenation and cardiac information in a form-factor that can be mounted on the inside of a baseball cap or headband. Because MEDIC is designed to be used in realistic, sometimes high-motion environments, changes in blood oxygenation to the brain must be put in context of current levels of physical activity without intruding on the activity of the user. Therefore, we also developed a NIRS Armband device made up of a combination of Plux sensors including: SpO2 sensor to measure cardiac information, a galvanic skin response sensor, a 6-axis accelerometer, and a non-contact skin temperature sensor. Because these were custom sensors, we tested them against a standard laboratory sensor (a Biopac RSPEC-R) while participants completed an obstacle course of cognitive and physical tasks.

1 Charles River Analytics
2 Department of Psychology, Arizona State University

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