Sources of Inaccuracy in Photoplethysmography for Continuous Cardiovascular Monitoring. Academic Article uri icon


  • Photoplethysmography (PPG) is a low-cost, noninvasive optical technique that uses change in light transmission with changes in blood volume within tissue to provide information for cardiovascular health and fitness. As remote health and wearable medical devices become more prevalent, PPG devices are being developed as part of wearable systems to monitor parameters such as heart rate (HR) that do not require complex analysis of the PPG waveform. However, complex analyses of the PPG waveform yield valuable clinical information, such as: blood pressure, respiratory information, sympathetic nervous system activity, and heart rate variability. Systems aiming to derive such complex parameters do not always account for realistic sources of noise, as testing is performed within controlled parameter spaces. A wearable monitoring tool to be used beyond fitness and heart rate must account for noise sources originating from individual patient variations (e.g., skin tone, obesity, age, and gender), physiology (e.g., respiration, venous pulsation, body site of measurement, and body temperature), and external perturbations of the device itself (e.g., motion artifact, ambient light, and applied pressure to the skin). Here, we present a comprehensive review of the literature that aims to summarize these noise sources for future PPG device development for use in health monitoring.

published proceedings

  • Biosensors (Basel)

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Fine, J., Branan, K. L., Rodriguez, A. J., Boonya-Ananta, T., Ajmal, .., Ramella-Roman, J. C., McShane, M. J., & Cot, G. L.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Fine, Jesse||Branan, Kimberly L||Rodriguez, Andres J||Boonya-Ananta, Tananant||Ramella-Roman, Jessica C||McShane, Michael J||Coté, Gerard L

publication date

  • April 2021