Photoplethysmography -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

29/10/2021

MEDICORE CO.LTD.

Photoplethysmography

First explored in the 1930’s, Photoplethysmography (PPG) is a method for measuring the amount of light that is absorbed or reflected by blood vessels in living tissue. Since the amount of optical absorption or reflection depends on the amount of blood that is present in the optical path, the PPG signal is responsive to changes in the volume of the blood, rather than the pressure of the blood vessels.

In other words, PPG detects the change of blood volume by the photoelectric technique, whether transmissive or reflective, to record the volume of blood in the sensor coverage area to form a PPG signal. Indeed, the sensor coverage area includes both veins and arteries and numerous capillaries.

Thus, the PPG signal is a complex mixture of the blood flow in veins and arteries of the cardiovascular circulatory system. A raw PPG signal generally includes pulsatile and non-pulsatile blood volume.

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