Background: Non-contact heart rate (HR) and respiratory rate (RR) monitoring is necessary for preterm infants due to the potential for the adhesive electrodes of conventional electrocardiogram (ECG) to cause damage to the epidermis. This study was performed to evaluate the agreement between HR and RR measurements of preterm infants using a non-contact computer vision system with comparison to measurements obtained by the ECG. Methods: A single-centre, cross-sectional observational study was conducted in a Neonatal Unit. Ten infants and their ECG monitors were videoed using two Nikon cameras for 10 min. HR and RR measurements obtained from the non-contact system were extracted using advanced signal processing techniques and later compared to the ECG readings using Bland–Altman analysis. Results: The non-contact system was able to detect an apnoea when the ECG determined movement as respirations. Although the mean bias between both methods was relatively low, the limits of agreement for HR were −8.3 to 17.4 beats per minute (b.p.m.) and for RR, −22 to 23.6 respirations per minute (r.p.m.). Conclusions: This study provides necessary data for improving algorithms to address confounding variables common to the neonatal population. Further studies investigating the robustness of the proposed system for premature infants are therefore required.
- Non-contact heart rate (HR)
- respiratory rate (RR) monitoring
- preterm infants