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New MedIT lecture: „Unobtrusive Monitoring of Vital Signs“

Starting in the coming winter semester 2023, MedIT will offer the new lecture "Unobtrusive Monitoring of Vital Signs" in the Elective catalog of the Master's specialization BMSE.

Unobtrusive Monitoring of Vital Signs (M. Sc. / WS / Bilingual: Deutsch/Englisch)

This lecture introduces the basic concepts of unobtrusive and non-contact measurement methods of vital signs based on the physiological and physical origins of the respective signals. The following contents will be addressed in the lecture:


1. physiology and physics of the cardiorespiratory system

2. capacitive electrocardiography

3. reflective photoplethysmography

4. ballistocardiography and seismocardiography

5. magnetic induction measurement

6. laser Doppler vibrometry and radar

7. LIDAR and Time-of-Flight sensors

8. photoplethysmography imaging

9. infrared thermography

10. fusion algorithms for vital parameter extraction

11. compensation of motion artifacts

12. application case: vital sign monitoring in a car

13. application case: sensor fusion in the incubator



Based on the fundamentals of unobtrusive and non-contact measurement methods of vital signs, after attending the module, participants will be able to:

• understand the physiological and physical origins of vital signs data

• understand and implement different concepts of unobtrusive and non-contact extraction methods of vital parameters

• evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of specific concepts for different environmental variables

• create concepts for fusing unobtrusive and non-contact sensing to optimize for signal coverage

• detect motion artifacts in vital signs data and compensate for them using appropriate algorithms


Previous Knowledge Expected:

Recommended: Contents of B.Sc. lecture „Einführung in die Medizintechnik“


Literature in German:


Medizintechnische Systeme,

Springer Vieweg Berlin, Heidelberg, 2016, Erste Edition

Steffen Leonhardt, Marian Walter

ISBN 978-3-642-41238-7

Literature in English:

Upcoming book on
“Unobtrusive and Contact-free Monitoring of Vital Signs”
Steffen Leonhardt, Markus Lueken and Mohanasankar Sivaprakasam

C. Brüser, C. H. Antink, T. Wartzek, M. Walter and S. Leonhardt, "Ambient and Unobtrusive Cardiorespiratory Monitoring Techniques," in IEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering, vol. 8, pp. 30-43, 2015. doi: 10.1109/RBME.2015.2414661

S. Leonhardt, L. Leicht, D. Teichmann. „Unobtrusive Vital Sign Monitoring in Automotive Environments - A Review”. Sensors (Basel). 2018 Sep 13;18(9):3080. doi: 10.3390/s18093080