A Pulse Rate Estimation Algorithm Using PPG and Smartphone Camera


The ubiquitous use and advancement in built-in smartphone sensors and the development in big data processing have been beneficial in several fields including healthcare. Among the basic vitals monitoring, pulse rate monitoring is the most important healthcare necessity. A multimedia video stream data acquired by built-in smartphone camera can be used to estimate it. In this paper, an algorithm that uses only smartphone camera as a sensor to estimate pulse rate using PhotoPlethysmograph (PPG) signals is proposed. The results obtained by the proposed algorithm are compared with the actual pulse rate and the maximum error found is 3 beats per minute. The standard deviation in percentage error and percentage accuracy is found to be 0.68 % whereas the average percentage error and percentage accuracy is found to be 1.98 % and 98.02 % respectively.

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This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61572231, 61173079 and 61472163, in part by the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong, China under Grant ZR2013FM004. The corresponding author is Yuan Zhang.

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Correspondence to Yuan Zhang.

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Siddiqui, S.A., Zhang, Y., Feng, Z. et al. A Pulse Rate Estimation Algorithm Using PPG and Smartphone Camera. J Med Syst 40, 126 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10916-016-0485-6

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  • Pulse rate
  • PhotoPlethysmoGraph (PPG)
  • Smartphone sensor
  • Mobile health