Towards Continuous Camera-Based Respiration Monitoring in Infants

Aiming at continuous unobtrusive respiration monitoring, motion robustness is paramount. However, some types of motion can completely hide the respiration information and the detection of these events is required to avoid incorrect rate estimations. Therefore, this work proposes a motion detector optimized to specifically detect severe motion of infants combined with a respiration rate detection strategy based on automatic pixels selection which proved to be robust to motion of the infants involving head and limbs. A dataset including both thermal and RGB videos was used amounting to a total of 43 hours acquired on 17 infants. The method was successfully applied to both RGB and thermal videos and compared to the chest impedance signal. The Mean Absolute Error (MAE) in segments where some motion is present was 1.16 and 1.97 breaths/min higher than the MAE in the ideal moments where the infants were still for testing and validation set, respectively. Overall, the average MAE on the testing and validation set are 3.31 breaths/min and 5.36 breaths/min, using 64.00% and 69.65% of the included video segments (segments containing events such as interventions were excluded based on a manual annotation), respectively. Moreover, we highlight challenges that need to be overcome for continuous camera-based respiration monitoring. The method can be applied to different camera modalities, does not require skin visibility, and is robust to some motion of the infants.