VicarVision has been awarded funding from INNOLABS, an EU project that aims to foster collaboration and opportunities among SMEs from different countries and sectors in order to develop disruptive technologies mainly related to mHealth, personalized healthcare and ageing populations. In this project, we will set first steps in creating an unobtrusive health monitoring tool that can assess heart rate and emotions from the face, while someone is using a smart-phone.
With an innovative technique, called remote photoplethysmography (remote PPG), heart rate can be detected from the face. This functionality is already available in FaceReader. The technology requires high quality recordings, we want to test whether it is also accurate when the camera of a mobile device is being used. Together with our partner PLUX, a Portuguese company specialized in advanced biosignals monitoring platforms, we will collect physiological ground truth data and video recordings from a tablet. This will enable us to validate the heart rate remote PPG measurements and FaceReader emotion classification on a mobile device. In addition, we will use machine learning strategies to try to extract more stress related signals from the face.
These results will help us create a mobile research application that can measure health related metrics unobtrusively from the face. This mobile application can then be used in a popular new research approach that enables research to be done in a more natural environment. This helps tackle important challenges in research on disorders related to mood and stress, currently the most prevalent mental health issues worldwide. The application can ultimately be beneficial to companies and people that want basic and easy insights into their mental health to thus motivate people to become healthier.