University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


Photoplethysmograph signal reconstruction based on a novel hybrid motion artifact detection-reduction approach. Part I: Motion and noise artifact detection

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Emergency Medicine; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



*Algorithms; *Artifacts; Heart Rate; Humans; *Monitoring, Physiologic; Motion; Oximetry; Photoplethysmography


Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Biomedical Devices and Instrumentation | Cardiology


Motion and noise artifacts (MNA) are a serious obstacle in utilizing photoplethysmogram (PPG) signals for real-time monitoring of vital signs. We present a MNA detection method which can provide a clean vs. corrupted decision on each successive PPG segment. For motion artifact detection, we compute four time-domain parameters: (1) standard deviation of peak-to-peak intervals (2) standard deviation of peak-to-peak amplitudes (3) standard deviation of systolic and diastolic interval ratios, and (4) mean standard deviation of pulse shape. We have adopted a support vector machine (SVM) which takes these parameters from clean and corrupted PPG signals and builds a decision boundary to classify them. We apply several distinct features of the PPG data to enhance classification performance. The algorithm we developed was verified on PPG data segments recorded by simulation, laboratory-controlled and walking/stair-climbing experiments, respectively, and we compared several well-established MNA detection methods to our proposed algorithm. All compared detection algorithms were evaluated in terms of motion artifact detection accuracy, heart rate (HR) error, and oxygen saturation (SpO2) error. For laboratory controlled finger, forehead recorded PPG data and daily-activity movement data, our proposed algorithm gives 94.4, 93.4, and 93.7% accuracies, respectively. Significant reductions in HR and SpO2 errors (2.3 bpm and 2.7%) were noted when the artifacts that were identified by SVM-MNA were removed from the original signal than without (17.3 bpm and 5.4%). The accuracy and error values of our proposed method were significantly higher and lower, respectively, than all other detection methods. Another advantage of our method is its ability to provide highly accurate onset and offset detection times of MNAs. This capability is important for an automated approach to signal reconstruction of only those data points that need to be reconstructed, which is the subject of the companion paper to this article. Finally, our MNA detection algorithm is real-time realizable as the computational speed on the 7-s PPG data segment was found to be only 7 ms with a Matlab code.

DOI of Published Version



Ann Biomed Eng. 2014 Nov;42(11):2238-50. doi: 10.1007/s10439-014-1080-y. Epub 2014 Aug 5. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Annals of biomedical engineering

PubMed ID