A simple model to detect atrial fibrillation via visual imaging

Valentina D.A. Corino, Luca Iozzia, Giorgio Scarpini, Luca T. Mainardi, Federico Lombardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Automatic detection of atrial fibrillation (AF) is a challenging issue. In this study we proposed and validated a model to identify AF by using facial video recordings. We analyzed photoplethysmographic imaging (PPGi) signals, extracted from video of a subject's face. Sixty-eight patients were included: 30 in sinus rhythm (SR), 25 in AF and 13 presenting with atrial flutter or frequent ectopic beats (ARR). Twenty-six indexes were computed. The dataset was divided in three subsets: the training, validation, and test set, containing, respectively, 58, 29, and 13% of the data. Mean of inter-systolic interval series (M), Local Maxima Similarity (LMS), and pulse harmonic strength (PHS) indexes were significantly different among all groups. Variability and irregularity parameters had the lowest values in SR, the highest in AF, with intermediate values in ARR. The PHS was higher in SR than in ARR, and higher in ARR than in AF. The LMS index was the highest in SR, intermediate in ARR and the lowest in AF. Similarity indexes were higher in SR than in AF and ARR. A model with three features, namely M, Similarity1 and LMS was chosen. With this model, the accuracy for the validation set was 0.947±0.007 for SR, 0.954±0.004 for AF and 0.919±0.006 for ARR; for the test set (never-seen data), accuracy was 0.876±0.021 for SR, 0.870±0.030 for AF and 0.863±0.029 for ARR. A contactless video-based monitoring can be used to detect AF, differentiating it from SR and from frequent ectopies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-728
JournalBiomedizinische Technik
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • atrial fibrillation
  • camera
  • monitoring
  • photoplethysmographic signal
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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