Non-Contact Remote Monitoring of Human Vital Signs
The measurement of vital signs including heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and oxygenation saturation are essential in clinical and home settings. Convenience of clinical measurements in home settings would create considerable advantages in managing chronic illnesses especially for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and infants. For decades researchers have strived to create accurate, real-time, low-cost devices and tools for vital signs monitoring. Attempts include both invasive and non-invasive methods such as implantable devices and monitoring apparatuses. Since the beginning of photoplethysmography (PPG) in the late 1930s, clinicians have often employed PPG for real-time monitoring in the health care industry. PPG is a non-invasive optical method for detecting the change in the volume of blood in microcirculation. However, recent advances in signal processing technology have rendered it possible to extract information about heart rate from PPG signals, and have made remote monitoring of other vital signs an achievable goal in digital healthcare. The project aims to investigate the potential of measuring vital signs without any body-worn sensors, cuffs, or cumbersome measurement tools that might induce medical risk or discomfort. The software developed allows any smart device camera to detect imperceptible colour variations of the skin due to cardio-synchronous changes in users’ blood flow, i.e. remote PPG (rPPG).