Ming-Zher Poh, a student in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program, has made a health monitoring system that uses low cost cameras to measure heart rates.

His monitoring system does not require any physical contact, and uses visual data gathered by cameras to measure slight variations in brightness that result from the flow of blood vessels in the face.

When compared to a FDA approved heart rate monitoring device that is physically connected to the body, the hands free method developed by Poh was accurate within 3 beats per minute. The system can get heart rates from three people by using just one camera.

Poh mentions that possible uses for this type of software in the hospital setting would be for neonatal care and for burn victims.  He is now working on using the same visual data in order to monitor pulse ox and blood pressure.

Monitoring heart rates “wirelessly” through this method is definitely a great achievement, but if the MIT team is able to add Pulse ox and blood pressure monitoring using the same techniques it would be revolutionary.

Continue on for a video demonstration

Source: MIT News