Robust peak detection for photoplethysmography signal analysis

Dr. Marton Aron Goda1, Peter Charlton2, Joachim A. Behar3
1Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, Technion, Technion–IIT, 2University of Cambridge, 3Technion-IIT


Efficient and accurate evaluation of long-term photoplethysmography (PPG) recordings is essential for both clinical assessments and consumer products. In 2021, the top opensource peak detectors were benchmarked on the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) database consisting of polysomnography (PSG) recordings and continuous sleep PPG data, where the Automatic Beat Detector (Aboy) had the best accuracy. This work presents Aboy++, an improved version of the original Aboy beat detector. The algorithm was evaluated on 100 adult PPG recordings from the MESA database, which contains more than 4.25 million reference beats. Aboy++ achieved an F1-score of 85.5\%, compared to 80.99\% for the original Aboy peak detector. On average, Aboy++ processed a 1 hour-long recording in less than 2 seconds. This is compared to 115 seconds (i.e., over 57-times longer) for the open-source implementation of the original Aboy peak detector. This study demonstrated the importance of developing robust algorithms like Aboy++ to improve PPG data analysis and clinical outcomes. Overall, Aboy++ is a reliable tool for evaluating long-term wearable PPG measurements in clinical and consumer contexts. The open-source algorithm is available on the website (on publication of this proceeding).