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Biomedical Engineering / Biomedizinische Technik

Joint Journal of the German Society for Biomedical Engineering in VDE and the Austrian and Swiss Societies for Biomedical Engineering and the German Society of Biomaterials

Editor-in-Chief: Dössel, Olaf

Editorial Board: Augat, Peter / Habibović, Pamela / Haueisen, Jens / Jahnen-Dechent, Wilhelm / Jockenhoevel, Stefan / Knaup-Gregori, Petra / Lenarz, Thomas / Leonhardt, Steffen / Plank, Gernot / Radermacher, Klaus M. / Schkommodau, Erik / Stieglitz, Thomas / Boenick, Ulrich / Jaramaz, Branislav / Kraft, Marc / Lenthe, Harry / Lo, Benny / Mainardi, Luca / Micera, Silvestro / Penzel, Thomas / Robitzki, Andrea A. / Schaeffter, Tobias / Snedeker, Jess G. / Sörnmo, Leif / Sugano, Nobuhiko / Werner, Jürgen /

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.096
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.492

CiteScore 2017: 0.48

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.202
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.356

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Volume 64, Issue 1


Volume 57 (2012)

Influence of acquisition frame-rate and video compression techniques on pulse-rate variability estimation from vPPG signal

Luca CerinaORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4166-2110 / Luca Iozzia
  • Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Luca Mainardi
  • Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-11-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bmt-2016-0234


In this paper, common time- and frequency-domain variability indexes obtained by pulse rate variability (PRV) series extracted from video-photoplethysmographic signal (vPPG) were compared with heart rate variability (HRV) parameters calculated from synchronized ECG signals. The dual focus of this study was to analyze the effect of different video acquisition frame-rates starting from 60 frames-per-second (fps) down to 7.5 fps and different video compression techniques using both lossless and lossy codecs on PRV parameters estimation. Video recordings were acquired through an off-the-shelf GigE Sony XCG-C30C camera on 60 young, healthy subjects (age 23±4 years) in the supine position. A fully automated, signal extraction method based on the Kanade-Lucas-Tomasi (KLT) algorithm for regions of interest (ROI) detection and tracking, in combination with a zero-phase principal component analysis (ZCA) signal separation technique was employed to convert the video frames sequence to a pulsatile signal. The frame-rate degradation was simulated on video recordings by directly sub-sampling the ROI tracking and signal extraction modules, to correctly mimic videos recorded at a lower speed. The compression of the videos was configured to avoid any frame rejection caused by codec quality leveling, FFV1 codec was used for lossless compression and H.264 with variable quality parameter as lossy codec. The results showed that a reduced frame-rate leads to inaccurate tracking of ROIs, increased time-jitter in the signals dynamics and local peak displacements, which degrades the performances in all the PRV parameters. The root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD) and the proportion of successive differences greater than 50 ms (PNN50) indexes in time-domain and the low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) power in frequency domain were the parameters which highly degraded with frame-rate reduction. Such a degradation can be partially mitigated by up-sampling the measured signal at a higher frequency (namely 60 Hz). Concerning the video compression, the results showed that compression techniques are suitable for the storage of vPPG recordings, although lossless or intra-frame compression are to be preferred over inter-frame compression methods. FFV1 performances are very close to the uncompressed (UNC) version with less than 45% disk size. H.264 showed a degradation of the PRV estimation directly correlated with the increase of the compression ratio.

Keywords: camera-based PPG; distance PPG; heart-rate variability; imaging PPG; non-contact PPG; non-contact pulse-rate variability; remote PPG; video compression; video frame-rate; video-photoplethysmography


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About the article

Received: 2016-11-30

Accepted: 2017-10-09

Published Online: 2017-11-14

Published in Print: 2019-02-25

Citation Information: Biomedical Engineering / Biomedizinische Technik, Volume 64, Issue 1, Pages 53–65, ISSN (Online) 1862-278X, ISSN (Print) 0013-5585, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bmt-2016-0234.

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