Wearable Pulse Oximetry in Construction Environments


The goal of this project was to determine the feasibility of non-invasively monitoring the blood gases of construction workers for carbon monoxide exposure via pulse oximetry. In particular, this study sought to understand the impact of motion artifacts caused by the worker’s activities and to determine if those activities would prevent the blood gas sensor from detecting the onset of carbon monoxide poisoning. This feasibility study was conducted using a blood oxygen sensor rather than a blood carbon monoxide sensor for several reasons. First, blood gas sensors that measure blood carbon monoxide are not readily available in suitable physical form factors. Second, sensors for blood oxygen and blood carbon monoxide operate on the same physical principles and thus will be affected in the same way by worker motions. Finally, using a blood oxygen sensor allowed the study to be conducted without exposing the human subjects to carbon monoxide. A user study was conducted to determine the distribution of motion artifacts that would be created during a typical work day. By comparing that distribution to a worst-case estimate of time to impairment, the probability that helmet will adequately monitor the worker can be established. The results of the study show that the helmet will provide a measurement capable of warning the user of on setting carbon monoxide poisoning with a probability greater than 99%.

Masters Thesis