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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 6 (2015), Issue 4, Pages 691-704
Research Article

The Performance of a Mobile Phone Respiratory Rate Counter Compared to the WHO ARI Timer

Heng Gan,1,2 Walter Karlen,3 Dustin Dunsmuir,1 Guohai Zhou,4 Michelle Chiu,5 Guy A. Dumont,6 and J. Mark Ansermino1

1Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, Canada
2Department of Anaesthesia, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
3Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
4Department of Statistics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, Canada
5Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, Canada
6Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, Canada

Received 1 May 2015; Accepted 1 September 2015

Copyright © 2015 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


OBJECTIVE: To compare the accuracy and efficiency of the respiratory rate (RR) RRate mobile application to the WHO ARI Timer. METHODS: Volunteers used both devices to measure RR from reference videos of infants and children. Measurements were compared using correlation, Bland-Altman analysis, error metrics and time taken. RESULTS: Measurements with either device were highly correlated to the reference (r = 0.991 and r = 0.982), and to each other (r = 0.973). RRate had a larger bias than the ARI Timer (0.6 vs. 0.04 br/min), but tighter limits of agreement (−4.5 to 3.3 br/min vs. −5.5 to 5.5 br/min). RRate was more accurate than the ARI Timer (percentage error 10.6% vs. 14.8%, root mean square error 2.1 vs. 2.8 br/min and normalized root mean square error 5.6% vs. 7.5%). RRate measurements were 52.7 seconds (95% CI 50.4 s to 54.9 s) faster. CONCLUSION: During video observations, RRate measured RR quicker with a similar accuracy compared to the ARI Timer.