Respiratory rate (RR) is a vital sign with continuous, convenient, and accurate measurement which is difficult and still under investigation. The present study investigates and evaluates a stretchable and wearable inkjet-printed strain gauge sensor (IJP) to estimate the RR continuously by detecting the respiratory volume change in the chest area. As the volume change could cause different strain changes at different body postures, this study aims to investigate the accuracy of the IJP RR sensor at selected postures. The evaluation was performed twice on 15 healthy male subjects (mean ± SD of age: 24 ± 1.22 years). The RR was simultaneously measured in breaths per minute (BPM) by the IJP RR sensor and a reference RR sensor (e-Health nasal thermal sensor) at each of the five body postures namely standing, sitting at 90°, Flower’s position at 45°, supine, and right lateral recumbent. There was no significant difference in measured RR between IJP and reference sensors, between two trials, or between different body postures (all p > 0.05). Body posture did not have any significant effect on the difference of RR measurements between IJP and the reference sensors (difference < 0.01 BPM for each measurement in both trials). The IJP sensor could accurately measure the RR at different body postures, which makes it a promising, simple, and user-friendly option for clinical and daily uses.

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Published in Applied Sciences, v. 10, issue 2, 480.

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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This research was funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering under grant Ref. IAPP1R2\100204.