A Robust Vision-Based Heart Rate Evaluation

Kuan Yi Lin, Duan Yu Chen, Suh-Yin Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Monitoring heart rates using conventional electrocardiogram (ECG) equipment requires patients to wear adhesive gel patches or chest straps that can cause skin irritation and discomfort. Commercially-available pulse oximetry sensors that attach to the fingertips or earlobes also cause inconvenience for patients and the spring-loaded clips can be painful to use. Therefore, a novel robust face-based heart rate monitoring technique is proposed to allow for the evaluation of heart rate variation without physical contact with the patient. Face reflectance is first decomposed from a single image and then heart rate evaluation is conducted from consecutive frames according to the periodic variation of reflectance strength resulting from changes to hemoglobin absorptivity across the visible light spectrum as heartbeats cause changes to blood volume in the blood vessels in the face. To achieve a robust evaluation, ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) of the Hilbert-Huang Transform (HHT) is used to acquire the primary heart rate signal while reducing the effect of ambient light changes. Our proposed approach is found to outperform the current stateo-f-the-art, providing greater measurement accuracy with smaller variance and is shown to be feasible in real-world environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorkshop on Computer Architecture, Embedded Systems, SoC, and VLSI/EDA /
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2015


  • Heart Rate; Heart Rate Evaluation; and Hilbert-Huang Transform

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