The measurement of cardiopulmonary vital signs is fundamental to understanding the health status and cognitive capacity of the subject. Such measures can give the observer crucial data to enable assessment of general health and fitness, physical and mental stress or fatigue, autonomic function, respiratory distress, or impending cardiac events. Vital signs are typically determined using contact-based sensors which are inappropriate for a number of operational use cases because they are physically restrictive or are overly distracting from the task at hand.
Photoplethysmography (PPG) is an optical technique which used to detect blood volume changes in tissue. This current technology generates physiological response waveforms from contact-based sensors. Using advanced signal processing methods, a large number of physiological parameters may be extracted from these waveforms. Imaging photoplethysmography (iPPG) is a technique whereby similar waveforms may be obtained from remote video images of the subject.
Intelomed had already commercialized an FDA-cleared PPG analysis device and developed different methods for video-based iPPG analysis. In this project, the company leveraged this expertise and was able to develop a complete iPPG analysis pipeline for advanced remote cardiopulmonary vital sign monitoring which can be implemented in a variety of hardware embodiments.
Broader Impact / Application
The iPPG technique implemented by Intelomed, is a simple and low-cost optical technique that uses existing vehicle infrastructure to continuously monitor the crew’s physiologic parameters without crew intervention. Because it requires only a simple consumer-grade camera (i.e. cell phone or webcam), potential applications include exploration pressure suits, ISS health maintenance systems, or manned aerospace vehicles. Non-NASA commercial and civilian applications include telemedical access for general care; use in remote environments; remote monitoring of home- or facility-based chronic disease patients; monitoring of bacterial infections to avoid septic onset; emergency and urgent care medicine for initial triage and ongoing monitoring; and early cardiac stress identification to avoid onset of cardiac events.
With the help of Inspiralia, Intelomed was awarded a grant by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop an advanced Video-Based Non-Contact Method for Advanced Remote Cardiopulmonary Vital Sign Monitoring.