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A Low Cost Optical Sensor Based Heart Rate Monitoring System

Heart rate exhibiting direct proportional characteristics with change in blood volume during heart  beats can be measured by modeling an analog and digital manipulation scheme. A model of a single Microcontroller chip based heart beat counter, capable of data storage and suitable for remote communication via Bluetooth, would be designed and implemented and checked for contrast with a commercial heart beat per minute (BPM) counter.

Heart Rate, determined by the number of times heart beats in a minute, is substantial, as it gives  information on the overall physical condition of the body. In case of patients suffering from diseases, continuous or routine measurement of heart rate is very important. Analysis of heart rate would help maintain health, diagnose and detect coronary diseases.

Heart rate is commonly measured by doctors by feeling and counting the pulse of the pulsating arterial blood in suitable parts of the body such as wrist and neck.  Electrocardiograph (ECG) provides an accurate and reliable method of heart rate counting. Electrical pulses from the heart are sensed, plotted and heart rate can be measured with maximum precision by studying the graph.

For example Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved InstantCheck ECG from Win health simultaneously shows heart rate, ST Segment (ST), QRS Interval (QRS). Additionally the device facilitates data transmission over the internet. However, the device is sophisticated and may require expert assistance to operate. Its cost is around 530 USD which is expensive for the general mass.

This paper proposes a design and implementation of a single Microcontroller based heart rate measuring device that integrates most of the key features of the aforementioned devices and models. The device is compact in size, energy efficient, portable, capable of data storage and well suited for communicating with an external remote device via Bluetooth and cellular communication in case of a medical emergency or routine.

The designed device is based on analyzing  the change in level of reflected light after manually projecting infrared light into suitable body parts such as fingertip, wrist or temple area of the head. It also has automatic calibration system to measure the heart rate of both infants and adults. The device is easy to use, inexpensive and affordable by the general mass.
Authors: Mohammad Nasim Imtiaz Khan, Dewan Fahim Noor, Md. Jubaer Hossain Pantho, Tahmid Syed Abtahi, Farhana Parveen and Mohammed Imamul Hassan Bhuiyan

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