Alternative measurement systems for recording cardiac activity in animals: a pilot study

Kahankova, Radana and Kolarik, Jakub and Brablik, Jindřich and Barnova, Katerina and Simkova, Ivana and Martinek, Radek (2022) Alternative measurement systems for recording cardiac activity in animals: a pilot study. Animal Biotelemetry, 10 (1). pp. 1-21. ISSN 2050-3385

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Monitoring and assessing cardiac activity in animals, especially heart rate variability, has been gaining importance in the last few years as an indicator of animal health, well-being and physical condition. This pilot study tested the sensors based on ballistocardiography sensing the mechanical vibrations caused by the animal’s cardiovascular system, which have proved useful in measuring cardiac activity in humans. To verify the accuracy of these measurement systems, the conventional measurements based on electrocardiography were carried out and the outcomes were compared. The main objectives were to verify the suitability of these sensors in measuring cardiac activity in animals, to determine the advantages and disadvantages of these sensors, and to identify future challenges. Measurements were performed on various animals, specifically a goat, a cow, a horse, and a sheep. Electrocardiographic measurement, which has demonstrated high accuracy in procedures for animals, was used as the study’s gold standard. A disadvantage of this method, however, is the long time required to prepare animals and shear spots to attach electrodes. The accuracy of a ballistocardiographic sensor was compared to reference electrocardiographic signals based on Bland–Altman plots which analysed the current heart rate values. Unfortunately, the ballistocardiographic sensor was highly prone to poor adhesion to the animal’s body, sensor movement when the animal was restless, and motion artefacts. Ballistocardiographic sensors were shown only to be effective with larger animals, i.e., the horse and the cow, the size of these animals allowing sufficient contact of the sensor with the animal’s body. However, this method’s most significant advantage over the conventional method based on electrocardiography is lower preparation time, since there is no need for precise and time-demanding fixation of the sensor itself and the necessity of shaving the animal’s body.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Depositing User: Managing Editor
Date Deposited: 20 May 2022 08:03
Last Modified: 20 May 2022 08:03

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