Tech Briefs

Ambulatory physiological monitoring has been used to study human health and performance in space and in a variety of Earth-based environments (e.g., military aircraft, armored vehicles, small groups in isolation, and patients). Large, multi-channel data files are typically recorded in these environments, and these files often require the removal of contaminated data prior to processing and analyses.

Physiological data processing can now be performed with user-friendly, interactive software developed by the Ames Psychophysiology Research Laboratory. This software, which runs on a Windows platform, contains various signal-processing routines for both time- and frequency- domain data analyses (e.g., peak detection, differentiation and integration, digital filtering, adaptive thresholds, Fast Fourier Transform power spectrum, auto-correlation, etc.). Data acquired with any ambulatory monitoring system that provides text or binary file format are easily imported to the processing software.

The application provides a graphical user interface where one can manually select and correct data artifacts utilizing linear and zero interpolation and adding trigger points for missed peaks. Block and moving average routines are also provided for data reduction. Processed data in numeric and graphic format can be exported to Excel. This software, PostProc (for post-processing) requires the Dadisp engineering spreadsheet (DSP Development Corp), or equivalent, for implementation. Specific processing routines were written for electrocardiography, electroencephalography, electromyography, blood pressure, skin conductance level, impedance cardiography (cardiac output, stroke volume, thoracic fluid volume), temperature, and respiration.

PostProc users do not need programming experience or extensive knowledge of human electrophysiological signal processing. Routines written in Series Processing Language (SPL) can be modified to accommodate different biomedical instruments, calibration levels, or sampling rates.

This program was written by Patricia S. Cowings and William Toscano of Ames Research Center and Bruce C. Taylor and Soumydipta Acharya of the University of Akron. For further information access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free online at under the Software category.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to the Ames Technology Partnerships Division at (650) 604-2954. Refer to ARC-15287-1.

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).

User Interactive Software for Analysis of Human Physiological Data (reference ARC-15287-1) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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