Validity of resting heart rate derived from contact-based smartphone photoplethysmography compared with electrocardiography: a scoping review and checklist for optimal acquisition and reporting

James D. Mather, Lawrence D. Hayes, Jacqueline L. Mair*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background: With the rise of smartphone ownership and increasing evidence to support the suitability of smartphone usage in healthcare, the light source and smartphone camera could be utilized to perform photoplethysmography (PPG) for the assessment of vital signs, such as heart rate (HR). However, until rigorous validity assessment has been conducted, PPG will have limited use in clinical settings.

Objective: We aimed to conduct a scoping review assessing the validity of resting heart rate (RHR) acquisition from PPG utilizing contact-based smartphone devices. Our four specific objectives of this scoping review were to (1) conduct a systematic search of the published literature concerning contact-based smartphone device-derived PPG, (2) map study characteristics and methodologies, (3) identify if methodological and technological advancements have been made, and (4) provide recommendations for the advancement of the investigative area.

Methods: ScienceDirect, PubMed and SPORTDiscus were searched for relevant studies between January 1st, 2007, and November 6th, 2022. Filters were applied to ensure only literature written in English were included. Reference lists of included studies were manually searched for additional eligible studies.

Results: In total 10 articles were included. Articles varied in terms of methodology including study characteristics, index measurement characteristics, criterion measurement characteristics, and experimental procedure. Additionally, there were variations in reporting details including primary outcome measure and measure of validity. However, all studies reached the same conclusion, with agreement ranging between good to very strong and correlations ranging from r = .98 to 1.

Conclusions: Smartphone applications measuring RHR derived from contact-based smartphone PPG appear to agree with gold standard electrocardiography (ECG) in healthy subjects. However, agreement was established under highly controlled conditions. Future research could investigate their validity and consider effective approaches that transfer these methods from laboratory conditions into the “real-world”, in both healthy and clinical populations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1326511
Number of pages23
JournalFrontiers in Digital Health
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • photoplethysmography
  • PPG
  • mobile
  • heart rate
  • validity

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