Examination of a Novel Method for Non-Contact, Low-Cost and Automated Heart-Rate Detection in Ambient Light Using Photoplethysmographic Imaging

Report No. ARL-TR-7136
Authors: Marko Westphal
Date/Pages: October 2014; 22 pages
Abstract: Non-contact measurement of physiological data, such as heart rate, respiratory rate, heart rate variability, and arterial blood oxygen saturation, provide comfortable physiological assessment without the need of wet adhesive electrodes. Consequently, in recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the investigation of such methods. One of the most promising low-cost, non-contact, and non-intrusive methods is remote photoplethysmographic imaging (iPPG). So far, different approaches and methods have been studied for this purpose. This study examined the abilities of a non-contact, webcam-based iPPG method for determining heart rate based on an algorithm inspired by recent work on Eulerian video magnification. The purpose of this work is to examine abilities and limitations, as well as the reliability of the chosen algorithm. More specifically, this study investigates the influence of varying ambient light, the distance between the measuring object and camera, as well as the influence of movements of the measuring objects on the results.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2014