Monitoring and modelling of cardio-respiratory response during running exercises

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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- This thesis has two parts, the development: • And implementation of a portable, wireless based electrocardiograph monitor (ECG); and • Of a model for linear and nonlinear behaviors of the cardio-respiratory system in healthy adults during running exercises on a treadmill. Technological advances of biomedical engineering in the field of bioinstrumentation and associated medical devices have led to major advances in clinical/medical diagnostics - particularly for sports medicine. Portable wireless electrocardiograph (ECG) technology, developed by this research, for the continuous monitoring of the electrical activities of the human cardiac cycle anywhere, has a particular, practical application for sports medicine. There are a number of portable wireless ECG devices and remote cardio-respiratory monitoring systems existing in the market, but this research focused on and has developed a one-channel ECG prototype, with its major features being low power consumption and low cost. The one-channel, ECG machine prototype is intended for receiving signals from cardiac sensors and communicating it to remote monitoring/display/analysing system/s. The prototype incorporates a high common mode rejection ratio and four levels of gain setting. An embedded RF transceiver (nRF24E1) enables it to transmit ECG signals, to be displayed on remote/s sited no more than ~100 meters away. The prototype development includes a wireless receiver interface, for the remote/s on the basis they are PC based, thus allowing a clinician or physician to monitor the ECG in real-time. Software tools (Labview) were utilised in designing this interface. The second part of this research investigated linear and nonlinear behaviors of the cardio-respiratory system in healthy adults during running exercises on a treadmill by capturing and processing data, primarily for predicting heart rate reserve. Six healthy, young subjects were recruited. Exercise cycles commenced with the subject standing on a treadmill at rest for three minutes, running for a period of five minutes at a beginning speed of 7 km/h, followed by a recovery period of 15 minutes. Each subject then stood still for three minutes before repeating the exercise with consecutively increasing speeds, to a maximum of 18km/h. Treadmill speed was monitored by a Polar S1 Foot Pod meter. This was repeated three times for each speed. This research showed that the commonly used nonlinear model of heart rate response is not adequate, when running at a speed leading to maximum heart rate stress, for reliably predicting percentage of heart rate reserve. This research developed a new model (H Model) which was demonstrated to be a more reliable predictor.
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