A Quality-Scalable and Energy-Efficient Approach for Spectral Analysis of Heart Rate Variability
Today there is a growing interest in the integration of health monitoring applications in portable devices necessitating the development of methods that improve the energy efficiency of such systems. In this paper, we present a systematic approach that enables energy-quality trade-offs in spectral analysis systems for bio-signals, which are useful in monitoring various health conditions as those associated with the heart-rate. To enable such trade-offs, the processed signals are expressed initially in a basis in which significant components that carry most of the relevant information can be easily distinguished from the parts that influence the output to a lesser extent. Such a classification allows the pruning of operations associated with the less significant signal components leading to power savings with minor quality loss since only less useful parts are pruned under the given requirements. To exploit the attributes of the modified spectral analysis system, thresholding rules are determined and adopted at design- and run-time, allowing the static or dynamic pruning of less-useful operations based on the accuracy and energy requirements. The proposed algorithm is implemented on a typical sensor node simulator and results show up-to 82% energy savings when static pruning is combined with voltage and frequency scaling, compared to the conventional algorithm in which such trade-offs were not available. In addition, experiments with numerous cardiac samples of various patients show that such energy savings come with a 4.9% average accuracy loss, which does not affect the system detection capability of sinus-arrhythmia which was used as a test case.