breathing sensor, ecg & pulse

A dedicated device that shows the breathing rate or in some designs, the breathing movements. The latter types are more interesting as they show the depth of breathing too. However, with these you have to count the peaks on the screen to get the breathing rate – this is no bad thing. As with the pulse sensor, some designs are not too disturbed by body movements and allow you to show the change in breathing during exercise. There are numerous varieties – some respond to the stretch of a chest belt, some to the temperature of air under the nostrils. They tend to focus the attention of those actually wearing it – it’s more fun to watch yourself than others! My rating **** / +

I’ve rated these sensors but your assessment will be different. I give * to **** for the sensor’s intrigue, interest, and learning potential. I give from + to ++++ for how often a science department might use it.

pulse or heart rate (my rating **** / +)

A handy device for showing the pulse rate over time. Some systems are designed to monitor pulse rate during exercise and have a probe that is not too disturbed by body movements. A few offer the option to show the pulse wave – the pulsing of blood through capillaries. With this you can often spot the dicrotic notch where the aortic valve closes. Some work by radio transmitter over a distance (telemetry). Students may need to be reassured there’s no risk to them – some get anxious about using them and this sets the pulse going!

electrocardiogram – ECG (my rating was **** / +)

Used to show the ECG wave and the pulse rate. Fortunately, it is very hard to get diagnostic information from these or domestic ECG devices – a diagnostic ECG uses six to twelve electrodes and need special skill to interpret the result.

I’ve rated these sensors but your assessment will be different. I give * to **** for the sensor’s intrigue, interest, and learning potential. I give from + to ++++ for how often a science department might use it.

a rant about sensors that process data

Sensors often process data before you ever see it and this isn’t always wanted. A breathing sensor processes breathing movement data into a breathing rate. A first impression is that this is good, but appreciate that it is also good for students to see the breathing movements and to count the peaks.

Raw data can be as interesting. That’s why we need to weigh up the benefits of seeing pulse rates versus pulse waves, radioactivity counts versus radioactivity count rate, mass versus mass loss. as rate of change data.

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