In previous chapters, we took a closer look at photoplethysmography (PPG). We explained the fundamentals of PPG, delved into how it works, and the insights it provides with its waveform. In this chapter, we aim to provide a deeper understanding of PPG applications and we will distinguish consumer-grade PPG from clinical-grade PPG, exemplified by the FibriCheck PPG system.
✔️ Consumer-grade PPG is designed for general consumers who want to monitor their cardiovascular health using smartwatches and wearable devices. These devices may not be suitable for individuals with pre-existing cardiac arrhythmias, and they typically provide results through notifications, lacking comprehensive reports for healthcare providers.
✔️ Clinical-grade PPG targets adults with known or suspected heart conditions, and offers patient-initiated measurements accompanied by structured context information. The results are automatically shared with healthcare professionals for signal interpretation, which supports clinical decision-making.
As the term 'consumer-grade PPG' suggests, this type of PPG is linked to consumer interests. These consumers are typically adults seeking insights into their cardiovascular health through smartwatches and other wearable devices. Consumer-grade PPG devices automatically collect and analyse pulse rate data to identify irregular heart rhythms, which may suggest atrial fibrillation. Different automated measurement protocols and criteria may be implemented, depending on the manufacturer.
It is important to note that the majority of these devices are not intended for use by patients previously diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation, as they have often not been tested in patient populations. Additionally, it is worth noting that the results of these measurements are usually communicated through notifications. This implies that there is no comprehensible, interpretable report available for evaluation by a healthcare provider, limiting the insights available to support clinical decision-making.
|Consumer grade PPG
In the domain of clinical-grade PPG, exemplified by the FibriCheck PPG, the intended users are adults with either known heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation, or suspicions of such conditions. Measurements are initiated by the patient, typically on-demand as part of a clinical pathway. They can be performed daily, or in case of specific symptoms. Moreover, users have the option to provide structured context and symptom information after each measurement, facilitating insights into symptom-rhythm correlation, symptom severity, and more. Actionable results are automatically shared with healthcare professionals through a secured web platform, after which the signal can be interpreted to support clinical decision-making.
⏩ Move on to chapter 10 to learn more about how to interpret clinical-grade PPG recordings!