Forcecardiography: A Novel Technique to Measure Heart Mechanical Vibrations onto the Chest Wall


This paper presents forcecardiography (FCG), a novel technique to measure local, cardiac-induced vibrations onto the chest wall. Since the 19th century, several techniques have been proposed to detect the mechanical vibrations caused by cardiovascular activity, the great part of which was abandoned due to the cumbersome instrumentation involved. The recent availability of unobtrusive sensors rejuvenated the research field with the most currently established technique being seismocardiography (SCG). SCG is performed by placing accelerometers onto the subject’s chest and provides information on major events of the cardiac cycle. The proposed FCG measures the cardiac-induced vibrations via force sensors placed onto the subject’s chest and provides signals with a richer informational content as compared to SCG. The two techniques were compared by analysing simultaneous recordings acquired by means of a force sensor, an accelerometer and an electrocardiograph (ECG). The force sensor and the accelerometer were rigidly fixed to each other and fastened onto the xiphoid process with a belt. The high-frequency (HF) components of FCG and SCG were highly comparable (r > 0.95) although lagged. The lag was estimated by cross-correlation and resulted in about tens of milliseconds. An additional, large, low-frequency (LF) component, associated with ventricular volume variations, was observed in FCG, while not being visible in SCG. The encouraging results of this feasibility study suggest that FCG is not only able to acquire similar information as SCG, but it also provides additional information on ventricular contraction. Further analyses are foreseen to confirm the advantages of FCG as a technique to improve the scope and significance of pervasive cardiac monitoring.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Engineering and Technology > Mechanical, Biomedical & Design
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cardiac function,Cardiac monitoring,Force-sensitive resistor,Non-invasive sensor,Seismocardiography,Analytical Chemistry,Biochemistry,Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics,Instrumentation,Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Publication ISSN: 1424-8220
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 11:34
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2020 10:15
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Related URLs: https://www.mdp ... 8220/20/14/3885 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-07-13
Accepted Date: 2020-07-10
Authors: Andreozzi, Emilio
Fratini, Antonio (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-8894-461X)
Esposito, Daniele
Naik, Ganesh
Polley, Caitlin
Gargiulo, Gaetano D.
Bifulco, Paolo



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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