Non-contact measurement of heart rate using a camera

University essay from Lunds universitet/Avdelningen för Biomedicinsk teknik

Abstract: Measurements of heart rate without contact can be of much importance when the possibilities of skin contact for different reasons are limited, or for monitoring at distance over time. This is an emerging area in our time, and the idea to construct a working system to demonstrate the technique was therefore born. The work has been performed at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at LTH. The main question to answer during the project was whether or not it was possible to construct a real-time working system to perform contact-less measurements of heart rate using a camera. The specifications held on the hardware as well as the developed software and surroundings of the possible measurements have been examined. Limitations have been made that the subject being under measurement can not move his or her head faced away from the camera. An invariant light intensity in the room has also been assumed, which limits the environments and circumstances under which measurements may be performed. The results showed the significance of light conditions in the room when performing measurements, as well as of adequate signal processing algorithms to reduce noise and verify the correct heart rate. After tests performed on 9 different subjects in varying environments a mean deviation from the reference of approximately half a beat per minute was obtained. Further tests must be performed in order to conclude what causes this deviation and how it may be solved. The presented results show that with further testing of different algorithms and environmental factors the proposed technique may be of great importance in measurements of heart rate in the future.

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