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Open AccessArticle

Unobtrusive Respiratory Flow Monitoring Using a Thermopile Array: A Feasibility Study

1
Department of Electrical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5612AP Eindhoven, The Netherlands
2
Philips Research, High Tech Campus 34, 5656AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(12), 2449; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9122449
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 9 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 15 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contactless Vital Signs Monitoring)
Low-resolution thermal cameras have already been used in the detection of respiratory flow. However, microbolometer technology has a high production cost compared to thermopile arrays. In this work, the feasibility of using a thermopile array to detect respiratory flow has been investigated in multiple settings. To prove the concept, we tested the detector on six healthy subjects. Our method automatically selects the region-of-interest by discriminating between sensor elements that output noise and flow-induced signals. The thermopile array yielded an average root mean squared error of 1.59 b r e a t h s p e r m i n u t e . Parameters such as distance, breathing rate, orientation, and oral or nasal breathing resulted in being fundamental in the detection of respiratory flow. The paper provides the proof-of-concept that low-cost thermopile-arrays can be used to monitor respiratory flow in a lab setting and without the need for facial landmark detection. Further development could provide a more attractive alternative for the earlier bolometer-based proposals. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote; health; camera; distance; unobtrusive; thermal; respiration; thermopile remote; health; camera; distance; unobtrusive; thermal; respiration; thermopile
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lorato, I.; Bakkes, T.; Stuijk, S.; Meftah, M.; de Haan, G. Unobtrusive Respiratory Flow Monitoring Using a Thermopile Array: A Feasibility Study. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 2449.

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