Sleep apnea assessment using declination duration-based global metrics from unobtrusive fiber optic sensors

Ming Hung Hsu, Shih Chin Fang, Fu Tai Wang, Hsiao Lung Chan*, Hsiu En Huang, Shu Chen Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Sufficient sleep helps to restore the immune, nervous and cardiovascular systems, but is sometimes disturbed by sleep apnea (SA). The early diagnosis of sleep apnea is beneficial for the prevention of diseases. Polysomnography (PSG) recording provides comprehensive data for such assessment, but is not suitable for use at home due to discomfort during measurement and the difficulty of identification. This study proposes an unobtrusive measurement process by placing fiber optic sensors (FOSs) in a pillow (head-neck) or a bed mattress (thoracic-dorsal). Approach: We test two approaches: drop degrees from the baseline to validate the capability of catching respiratory drops, and linear regression models based on a new global measure, the percentage of the total duration of respiratory declination (PTDRD), to estimate the hand-scored apnea/hypopnea index (AHI). Main results: Based on data recorded from 63 adults, the drop degrees derived from respiratory signals exhibited statistical differences among central sleep apnea (CSA), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and normal breathing. The regression models based on the PTDRDs derived from head-neck FOS and thoracic-dorsal FOS also achieved good agreement with manually scored AHIs in Bland-Altman plots as well as oronasal airflow and thoracic wall movement. Significance: The aforementioned performance demonstrates the capability of the FOS measurement and the efficacy of the PTDRD metrics for SA assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075005
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number7
StatePublished - 30 07 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.


  • apnea hypopnea index
  • fiber optic sensor
  • polysomnography
  • respiratory declination
  • unobtrusive measurement


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