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Measurements of pulse rate using long-range imaging photoplethysmography and sunlight illumination outdoors
Author(s): Ethan B. Blackford; Justin R. Estepp
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Paper Abstract

Imaging photoplethysmography, a method using imagers to record absorption variations caused by microvascular blood volume pulsations, shows promise as a non-contact cardiovascular sensing technology. The first long-range imaging photoplethysmography measurements at distances of 25, 50, and 100 meters from the participant was recently demonstrated. Degraded signal quality was observed with increasing imager-to-subject distances. The degradation in signal quality was hypothesized to be largely attributable to inadequate light return to the image sensor with increasing lens focal length. To test this hypothesis, a follow-up evaluation with 27 participants was conducted outdoors with natural sunlight illumination resulting in ~5-33 times the illumination intensity. Video was recorded from cameras equipped with ultra-telephoto lenses and positioned at distances of 25, 50, 100, and 150 meters. The brighter illumination allowed high-definition video recordings at increased frame rates of 60fps, shorter exposure times, and lower ISO settings, leading to higher quality image formation than the previous indoor evaluation. Results were compared to simultaneous reference measurements from electrocardiography. Compared to the previous indoor study, we observed lower overall error in pulse rate measurement with the same pattern of degradation in signal quality with respect to increasing distance. This effect was corroborated by the signal-to-noise ratio of the blood volume pulse signal which also showed decreasing quality with respect to increasing distance. Finally, a popular chrominance-based method was compared to a blind source separation approach; while comparable in measurement of signal-to-noise ratio, we observed higher overall error in pulse rate measurement using the chrominance method in this data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 February 2017
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 10072, Optical Diagnostics and Sensing XVII: Toward Point-of-Care Diagnostics, 100720S (17 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2253460
Show Author Affiliations
Ethan B. Blackford, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Justin R. Estepp, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10072:
Optical Diagnostics and Sensing XVII: Toward Point-of-Care Diagnostics
Gerard L. Coté, Editor(s)

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