Reliable Breathing Tracking with Wearable Mask Device

Vishal Varun Tipparaju, Xiaojun Xian, Devon Bridgeman, Di Wang, Francis Tsow, Erica Forzani, Nongjian Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Breathing tracking is critical for the assessment of lung functions, exercise physiologies, and energy expenditure. Conventional methods require using a face mask or mouthpiece that is connected to a stationary equipment through a tube, restricting the location, movement, or even the posture. To obtain accurate breathing physiology parameters that represent the true state of the patient during different scenarios, a wearable technology that has less intervention to patient's activities in free-living conditions is highly preferred. Here, we propose a miniaturized, reliable, and wide-dynamic ranged flow sensing technology that is immune to orientation, movement, and noise. As far as we know, this is the first work of introducing a fully integrated mask device focusing on breath tracking in free-living conditions. There are two key challenges for achieving this goal: miniaturized flow sensing and motion-induced artifacts elimination. To address these challenges, we come up with two technical innovations: 1) in hardware wise, we have designed an integrated flow sensing technique based on differential pressure Pneumotach approach and motion sensing; 2) in software wise, we have developed comprehensive algorithms based baseline tracking and orientation and motion compensation. The effectiveness of the proposed technology has been proven by the experiments. Experimental results from simulator and real breath conditions show high correlation (R2 = 0.9994 and 0.9964 respectively) and mean error within 2.5% for Minute Volume (VE), when compared to values computed from reference methods. These results show that the proposed method is accurate and reliable to track the key breath parameters in free-living conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8970244
Pages (from-to)5510-5518
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2020


  • Breathing tracking
  • differential pressure pneumotach
  • face mask
  • wearable device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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