Researchers at MIT are constantly finding ways to use technology to improve people’s lives. This particular one will probably be most useful to those who might need remote healthcare services one day.
After doing extensive work at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, these scientists explain that they have developed an algorithm that will allow them to determine a person’s heart rate based on a video feed of them. The system is so accurate it was able to determine the heart rate of people wearing a mask or who had their face blurred out.
You might notice that your head might rock back and forth slightly when you’re seated. That’s a result of the blood rushing to your head with every beat of your heart. This phenomena is measured and then used to figure out your heart rate.
The method was evaluated on a group of 18 men and women with different skin tones, and the results were reportedly “nearly identical” to that of an electrocardiogram.
There’s a lot of potential with this technology. Aside from remote healthcare, it can also be used to monitor patients with sensitive skin, like the elderly or newborns. It can also be used to measure the time interval between beats, which is useful for monitoring patients who are at risk for cardiac events.