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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 23rd February 2018 > Red Light, Green Light

Red Light, Green Light

A new device will allow parents to monitor a baby’s heart rate simply by looking at their faces



THE BEATING OF OUR HEART CAN be seen in our faces. It’s not visible to the human eye, but a new device captures this hidden phenomenon, offering a potentially powerful way to measure a heartbeat without touching the body.

As blood pumps through our veins, it subtly changes the color of our skin. “We’re very good at measuring depth and contrasting things [with out eyes], because that’s what we’re designed to do,” says Nate Ruben, who studied electrical engineering at Utah State University (USU) and is co-founder of a startup called Photorithm. “We don’t notice slight changes in color.”

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