Non-Contact Photoplethysmogram and Instantaneous Heart Rate Estimation from Infrared Face Video

Conference Paper

Extracting the instantaneous heart rate (iHR) from face videos has been well studied in recent years. It is well known that changes in skin color due to blood flow can be captured using conventional cameras. One of the main limitations of methods that rely on this principle is the need of an illumination source. Moreover, they have to be able to operate under different light conditions. One way to avoid these constraints is using infrared cameras, allowing the monitoring of iHR under low light conditions. In this work, we present a simple, principled signal extraction method that recovers the iHR from infrared face videos. We tested the procedure on 7 participants, for whom we recorded an electrocardiogram simultaneously with their infrared face video. We checked that the recovered signal matched the ground truth iHR, showing that infrared is a promising alternative to conventional video imaging for heart rate monitoring, especially in low light conditions. Code is available at

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Martinez, N; Bertran, M; Sapiro, G; Wu, HT

Published Date

  • September 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2019-September /

Start / End Page

  • 2020 - 2024

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1522-4880

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781538662496

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1109/ICIP.2019.8803109

Citation Source

  • Scopus