Non-Contact Vital Sign Monitoring

The BSP-ML group is a world leader for non-contact physiological monitoring in healthcare settings using video cameras, both in the visible and infra-red. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented real-time versions of our algorithms for estimation of pulse rate and breathing rate using the webcams in smartphones, for both iPhones and Android phones.



We have carried out several clinical studies involving adults patients undergoing haemodialysis in the Oxford Kidney Unit, preterm infants in the Oxford Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and other control studies involving healthy volunteers. Our initial work has been focused on estimating vital signs such as heart rate, respiratory rate, peripheral oxygen saturation, blood pressure and other cardiovascular parameters. We have shown how video cameras can be used to measure changes in Pulse Transit Time (PTT) as a surrogate for changes in blood pressure (BP), demonstrating the need for individual calibration of PTT data to track changes in blood pressure (For more details please visit the following website: Vital-Sign Monitoring Lab website).

The technology has been further developed by Oxehealth Ltd (a spin-out company from the BSP-ML group). The CE-marked and FDA-approved software, determines pulse rate, respiratory rate and patient’s location in the room.  It is installed in 30% of UK mental health Trusts (>1,000 rooms), delivering better patient safety, less intrusive observations and improved patient privacy.