Contactless Vital Signs Acquisition Using Video Photoplethysmography, Motion Analysis and Passive Infrared Thermography Devices During Emergency Department Walk-In Triage in Pandemic Conditions



      Contactless vital signs (VS) measurement with video photoplethysmography (vPPG), motion analysis (MA), and passive infrared thermometry (pIR) has shown promise.


      To compare conventional (contact-based) and experimental contactless VS measurement approaches for emergency department (ED) walk-in triage in pandemic conditions.


      Patients' heart rates (HR), respiratory rates (RR), and temperatures were measured with cardiorespiratory monitor and vPPG, manual count and MA, and contact thermometers and pIR, respectively.


      There were 475 walk-in ED patients studied (95% of eligible). Subjects were 35.2 ± 20.8 years old (range 4 days‒95 years); 52% female, 0.2% transgender; had Fitzpatrick skin type of 2.3 ± 1.4 (range 1‒6), Emergency Severity Index of 3.0 ± 0.6 (range 2‒5), and contact temperature of 36.83°C (range 35.89–39.4°C) (98.3°F [96.6‒103°F]). Pediatric HR and RR data were excluded from analysis due to research challenges associated with pandemic workflow. For a 30-s, unprimed "Triage" window in 377 adult patients, vPPG-MA acquired 377 (100%) HR measurements featuring a mean difference with cardiorespiratory monitor HR of 5.9 ± 12.8 beats/min (R = 0.6833) and 252 (66.8%) RR measurements featuring a mean difference with manual RR of −0.4 ± 2.6 beats/min (R = 0.8128). Subjects' Emergency Severity Index components based on conventional VS and contactless VS matched for 83.8% (HR) and 89.3% (RR). Filtering out vPPG-MA measurements with low algorithmic confidence reduced VS acquired while improving correlation with conventional measurements. The mean difference between contact and pIR temperatures was 0.83 ± 0.67°C (range −1.16–3.5°C) (1.5 ± 1.2°F [range −2.1–6.3°F]); pIR fever detection improved with post hoc adjustment for mean bias.


      Contactless VS acquisition demonstrated good agreement with contact methods during adult walk-in ED patient triage in pandemic conditions; clinical applications will need further study.


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