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Validation of a Low-Cost Electrocardiography (ECG) System for Psychophysiological Research

Wagner, Ruth Erna; Plácido da Silva, Hugo; Gramann, Klaus

Background and Objective: The reliability of low-cost mobile systems for recording Electrocardiographic (ECG) data is mostly unknown, posing questions regarding the quality of the recorded data and the validity of the extracted physiological parameters. The present study compared the BITalino toolkit with an established medical-grade ECG system (BrainAmp-ExG). Methods: Participants underwent simultaneous ECG recordings with the two instruments while watching pleasant and unpleasant pictures of the “International Affective Picture System” (IAPS). Common ECG parameters were extracted and compared between the two systems. The Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICCs) and the Bland–Altman Limits of Agreement (LoA) method served as criteria for measurement agreement. Results: All but one parameter showed an excellent agreement (>80%) between both devices in the ICC analysis. No criteria for Bland–Altman LoA and bias were found in the literature regarding ECG parameters. Conclusion: The results of the ICC and Bland–Altman methods demonstrate that the BITalino system can be considered as an equivalent recording device for stationary ECG recordings in psychophysiological experiments.
Published in: Sensors, 10.3390/s21134485, MDPI