A Smart System for the Contactless Measurement of Energy Expenditure

Mark Sprowls, Shaun Victor, Sabrina Jimena Mora, Oscar Osorio, Gabriel Pyznar, Hugo Destaillats, Courtney Wheatley-Guy, Bruce Johnson, Doina Kulick, Erica Forzani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Energy Expenditure (EE) (kcal/day), a key element to guide obesity treatment, is measured from CO2 production, VCO2 (mL/min), and/or O2 consumption, VO2 (mL/min). Current technologies are limited due to the requirement of wearable facial accessories. A novel system, the Smart Pad, which measures EE via VCO2 from a room’s ambient CO2 concentration transients was evaluated. Resting EE (REE) and exercise VCO2 measurements were recorded using Smart Pad and a reference instrument to study measurement duration’s influence on accuracy. The Smart Pad displayed 90% accuracy (±1 SD) for 14–19 min of REE measurement and for 4.8–7.0 min of exercise, using known room’s air exchange rate. Additionally, the Smart Pad was validated measuring subjects with a wide range of body mass indexes (BMI = 18.8 to 31.4 kg/m2 ), successfully validating the system accuracy across REE’s measures of ~1200 to ~3000 kcal/day. Furthermore, high correlation between subjects’ VCO2 and λ for CO2 accumulation was observed (p < 0.00001, R = 0.785) in a 14.0 m3 sized room. This finding led to development of a new model for REE measurement from ambient CO2 without λ calibration using a reference instrument. The model correlated in nearly 100% agreement with reference instrument measures (y = 1.06x, R = 0.937) using an independent dataset (N = 56).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1355
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Ambient biometrics
  • Digital medicine
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Metabolic rate
  • Point of care
  • Smart home

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry


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