Dynamic Light Scattering: A New Noninvasive Technology for Neonatal Heart Rate Monitoring

Norani H. Gangaram-Panday, Tanja van Essen, Tom Goos, Rogier C.J. De Jonge, Irwin K.M. Reiss, Willem van Weteringen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Heart rate (HR) detection in premature infants using electrocardiography (ECG) is challenging due to a low signal amplitude and the fragility of the premature skin. Recently, the dynamic light scattering (DLS) technique has been miniaturized, allowing noninvasive HR measurements with a single sensor. Objective: The aim was to determine the accuracy of DLS for HR measurement in infants, compared to ECG-derived HR. Methods: Stable infants with a gestational age of ≥26 weeks, monitored with ECG, were eligible for inclusion. HR was measured with the DLS sensor at 5 different sites for 15 min each. We recorded every 10th second of the DLS-derived HR and the DLS signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and the ECG-derived HR was extracted for analysis. Patients were randomly divided into 2 groups. In the first group, the optimal SNR cut-off value was determined and then applied to the second group to assess agreement. Results: HR measurements from 31 infants were analyzed. ECG-DLS paired data points were collected at the forehead, an upper extremity, the thorax, a lower extremity, and the abdomen. When applying the international accuracy standard for HR detection, DLS accuracy in the first group (n = 15) was optimal at the forehead (SNR cut-off 1.66). Application of this cut-off to the second group (n = 16) showed good agreement between DLS-derived HR and ECG-derived HR (bias –0.73 bpm; 95% limits of agreement –15.46 and 14.00 bpm) at the forehead with approximately 80% (i.e., 1,066/1,310) of all data pairs remaining. Conclusion: The investigated DLS sensor was sensitive to movement, overall providing less accurate HR measurements than ECG and pulse oximetry. In this study population, specific measurement sites provided excellent signal quality and good agreement with ECG-derived HR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-286
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Noninvasive measurement
  • Dynamic light scattering
  • Neonate
  • Heart rate
  • Sensor


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