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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2011 Jan;58(1):7-11. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2010.2086456. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Advancements in noncontact, multiparameter physiological measurements using a webcam.

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  • 1Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology(HST), Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


We present a simple, low-cost method for measuring multiple physiological parameters using a basic webcam. By applying independent component analysis on the color channels in video recordings, we extracted the blood volume pulse from the facial regions. Heart rate (HR), respiratory rate, and HR variability (HRV, an index for cardiac autonomic activity) were subsequently quantified and compared to corresponding measurements using Food and Drug Administration-approved sensors. High degrees of agreement were achieved between the measurements across all physiological parameters. This technology has significant potential for advancing personal health care and telemedicine.

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