Improvements in Remote Cardiopulmonary Measurement Using a Five Band Digital Camera

14 May 2014  ·  McDuff, D., Gontarek, S., and Picard, R ·

Remote measurement of the blood volume pulse via photoplethysmography (PPG) using digital cameras and ambient light has great potential for healthcare and affective computing. However, traditional RGB cameras have limited frequency resolution. We present results of PPG measurements from a novel five band camera and show that alternate frequency bands, in particular an orange band, allowed physiological measurements much more highly correlated with an FDA approved contact PPG sensor. In a study with participants (n = 10) at rest and under stress, correlations of over 0.92 (p < 0.01) were obtained for heart rate, breathing rate, and heart rate variability measurements. In addition, the remotely measured heart rate variability spectrograms closely matched those from the contact approach. The best results were obtained using a combination of cyan, green, and orange (CGO) bands; incorporating red and blue channel observations did not improve performance. In short, RGB is not optimal for this problem: CGO is better. Incorporating alternative color channel sensors should not increase the cost of such cameras dramatically.



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