A novel pulse measurement system by using laser triangulation and a CMOS image sensor

Jih Huah Wu, Rong Seng Chang, Joe Air Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


This paper presents a novel, non-invasive, non-contact system to measure pulse waveforms of artery via applying laser triangulation method to detect skin surface vibration. The proposed arterial pulsation measurement (APM) system chiefly consists of a laser diode and a low cost complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor. Laser triangulation and centroid method are combined with the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) in this study. The shape and frequency of the arterial pulsation can be detected rapidly by using our APM system. The relative variation of the pulse at different measurement points near wrist joint is used as a prognostic guide in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). An extensive series of experiments was conducted to evaluate the performance of the designed APM system. From experimental results, the pulse amplitude and frequency at the Chun point (related to the small intestine) of left hand showed an obvious increase after having food. In these cases, the peak to peak amplitudes and the frequencies of arterial pulsations range from 38 to 48 μm and from 1.27 to 1.35 Hz, respectively. The height of arterial pulsations on the area near wrist joint can be estimated with a resolution of better than 4 μm. This research demonstrates that applying a CMOS image sensor in designing a non-contact, portable, easy-to-use, low cost pulse measurement system is feasible. Also, the designed APM system is well suited for evaluating and pre-diagnosing the health of a human being in TCM clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3366-3385
Number of pages20
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Arterial pulsation
  • CMOS image sensor
  • Centroid method
  • Laser triangulation
  • Pulse frequency


Dive into the research topics of 'A novel pulse measurement system by using laser triangulation and a CMOS image sensor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this