Novel methods for estimating the ballistocardiogram signal using a simultaneously acquired electrocardiogram.

Omer T. Inan*, Mozziyar Etemadi, Richard M. Wiard, Gregory T A Kovacs, Laurent Giovangrandi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ballistocardiogram (BCG) signal represents the movements of the body in response to cardiac ejection of blood. Recently, many groups have developed low-cost instrumentation for facilitating BCG measurement in the home. The standard method used in the literature for estimating the BCG pulse response has generally been ensemble averaging over several beats. Unfortunately, since the BCG pulse response is likely longer than a typical heartbeat interval, this standard approach does not yield a full-length estimate of the response. This paper describes a simple, novel algorithm for estimating the full-length BCG pulse response using the R-wave timing of a simultaneously acquired electrocardiogram (ECG). With this pulse response, the full signal can be reconstructed, enabling the analysis of slow transient effects in the BCG signal, and of the measurement noise. Additionally, while this paper focuses only on the BCG signal, the same algorithm could be applied to other biomedical signals such as the phonocardiogram or impedance cardiogram, particularly when the heartbeat interval is shorter than the duration of the pulse response.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics


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