The paper presents an optical non-contact method for simultaneous measurement of the heart beat and respiration period, based on the assessment of the chest wall movements induced by the pumping action of the heart, and by inspiration/expiration acts of the lungs. The measurement method is applied on 40 patients recovered in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where the operating conditions are often critical and the contact with the patient's skin needs to be minimized. The method proposed is based on optical recording of the movements of chest wall by means of a laser Doppler vibrometer directly pointed onto the left, frontal part of the thoracic surface. Data measured were compared with reference instrumentation; to reach this goal, the ECG and Laser Doppler Vibrometer (LDV) signals were simultaneously acquired to monitor the heart period (HP), while to measure respiration period (RP) signals from a spirometer and a LDV were collected simultaneously. After LDV signals decomposition, heart and respiration acts were detected and compared in term of beat per minute (bpm). HPs measured by the proposed method showed an uncertainty <6% (respect to ECG), while for RPs data an uncertainty of 3% (respect to spirometer data) was estimated. The proposed method has the intrinsic advantage to be totally without contact and to allow the simultaneous measurement of heart and respiration rate also in critical, clinical environments such as the NICU.
Simultaneous measurement of respiration and cardiac period in preterm infants by laser Doppler vibrometry / Scalise, Lorenzo; Paolo, Marchionni; Ilaria, Ercoli; Tomasini, Enrico Primo. - 2012:(2012), pp. 275-281. (Intervento presentato al convegno 10TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON VIBRATION MEASUREMENTS BY LASER AND NONCONTACT TECHNIQUES - AIVELA 2012 tenutosi a Ancona, ITALY nel 27-29 June 2012) [10.1063/1.4730567].