Pulse Oximetry at the Wrist During Sleep: Performance, Challenges and Perspectives.

Braun, Fabian; Theurillat, Patrick; Proenca, Martin; Lemkaddem, Alia; Ferrario, Damien; De Jaegere, Kurt; Horvath, Christian M.; Roth, Corinne; Brill, Anne-Kathrin; Lemay, Mathieu; Ott, Sebastian R. (2020). Pulse Oximetry at the Wrist During Sleep: Performance, Challenges and Perspectives. Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 2020, pp. 5115-5118. IEEE 10.1109/EMBC44109.2020.9176081

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The state-of-the-art non-invasive measurement of peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) during sleep is mainly based on pulse oximetry at the fingertip. Although this approach is noninvasive, it can still be obtrusive and cumbersome to apply, in particular for ambulatory monitoring over several nights.We developed a wrist-worn reflectance pulse oximetry device which can be embedded in a watch, making it less obtrusive and easy to apply. This device was tested in an ongoing clinical study on 57 subjects (33 patients and 24 healthy volunteers) undergoing a full overnight polysomnography recording. The accuracy was evaluated against state-of-the-art fingertip SpO2 measurements.In the 54 subjects available for analysis we obtained an SpO2 accuracy (ARMS) of 3.4 % when automatically rejecting 17.7 % of signals due to low quality. When further excluding measurements suffering from insufficient contact of the watch with the skin an ARMS of 2.7 % was obtained while rejecting a total of 23.2 % measurements. These accuracies comply with the ISO standard and the FDA guidance for pulse oximeters.The present results are promising and pave the way for unobtrusive and continuous monitoring of SpO2 to screen for sleep disordered breathing. Nonetheless, contact pressure and venous blood have shown to adversely affect the SpO2 estimation and remain a challenge for wrist-based reflectance pulse oximetry.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Pneumology

UniBE Contributor:

De Jaegere, Kurt Frank H, Horvath, Christian, Roth Wälti, Corinne, Brill, Anne-Kathrin, Ott, Sebastian Robert


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Heidi Lobsiger

Date Deposited:

04 Nov 2020 10:39

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:33

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