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arxiv preprint

Continuous, ubiquitous monitoring through wearable sensors has the potential to collect useful information about users' context. Heart rate is an important physiologic measure used in a wide variety of applications, such as fitness tracking and health monitoring. However, wearable sensors that monitor heart rate, such as smartwatches and electrocardiogram (ECG) patches, can have gaps in their data streams because of technical issues (e.g., bad wireless channels, battery depletion, etc.) or user-related reasons (e.g. motion artifacts, user compliance, etc.). The ability to use other available sensor data (e.g., smartphone data) to estimate missing heart rate readings is useful to cope with any such gaps, thus improving data quality and continuity. In this paper, we test the feasibility of estimating raw heart rate using smartphone sensor data. Using data generated by 12 participants in a one-week study period, we were able to build both personalized and generalized models using regression, SVM, and random forest algorithms. All three algorithms outperformed the baseline moving-average interpolation method for both personalized and generalized settings. Moreover, our findings suggest that personalized models outperformed the generalized models, which speaks to the importance of considering personal physiology, behavior, and life style in the estimation of heart rate. The promising results provide preliminary evidence of the feasibility of combining smartphone sensor data with wearable sensor data for continuous heart rate monitoring.

Nutta Homdee, Mehdi Boukhechba, Yixue W. Feng, Natalie Kramer, John Lach, Laura E. Barnes