This chapter introduces the anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system, and the reasons for measuring breathing events, particularly, using wearable sensors. Respiratory monitoring is vital including detection of sleep apnea and measurement of respiratory rate. The automatic detection of breathing patterns is equally important in other respiratory rehabilitation therapies, for example, magnetic resonance exams for respiratory triggered imaging, and synchronized functional electrical stimulation. In this context, the goal of many research groups is to create wearable devices able to monitor breathing activity continuously, under natural physiological conditions in different environments. Therefore, wearable sensors that have been used recently as well as the main signal processing methods for breathing analysis are discussed. The following sensor technologies are presented: acoustic, resistive, inductive, humidity, acceleration, pressure, electromyography, impedance, and infrared. New technologies open the door to future methods of noninvasive breathing analysis using wearable sensors associated with machine learning techniques for pattern detection.
Part of the book: Wearable Devices