You are on page 1of 9

Unitech2010 - Conference Proceedings http://www.iu.hio.

no/~frodes/unitech10/020-Peyman/

A novel low-cost design of a


digital infrared pupillometer using
a web camera
Peyman Mirtaheri
Faculty of Engineering, Oslo University College, P.O.Box4 St. Olavs plass,
N-0130 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: Pupillometry has long been used in a research setting to


study the autonomic nervous system, drug metabolism, pain responses,
psychology, fatigue, and sleep disorders. Pupil size and movement can
be measured by either infrared videography or computerized
pupillometry. Advances in infrared videography and computerized
pupillometry have enabled its use in the clinical realm. The existing
instruments on the market are either too large to be a handheld
instrument, or expensive. Since these instruments are generally very
expensive, it is unfortunately not available to health care services with
lower budgets. In this paper, we have implemented a pupillometer
based on a modified low cost webcam and an electronic circuit to
control few light emitting diodes. In the current system, there are three
infrared light diodes (peak wavelenght=850nm) and three multicolor
diodes that have peak wavelengths at 627, 565 and 430 nm,
respectively. A Labview vision system was applied in order to measure
the pupil size based on the infrared pictures. The results show that the
system is able to measure the pupil size both at scotopic condition and
while stimuli with color LEDs occur. This instrument is built with
a very modest budget and can be suggested to institutes and services
that need such medical instrument and yet have limited financial
resources.

1. Introduction
A pupillometer is a device used for accurate measurement of a patient's pupils
which can be used in many different applications (Mantry, Banerjee et al. 2005).
Pupillometry has long been used in a research setting to study the autonomic
nervous system, drug metabolism, pain responses, psychology, fatigue, and sleep
disorders.
Pupillometer examinations are frequently conducted on those undergoing
physical exams to become firemen, emergency workers, or policemen. The
reactions of the pupil can, of course, suggest the use of narcotics, especially

1 of 9 10/12/2013 7:03 PM
Unitech2010 - Conference Proceedings http://www.iu.hio.no/~frodes/unitech10/020-Peyman/

when the pupil remains less reactive and small. The pupillometer may also
suggest early symptoms of progressive joint or tissue disorders, which would
disqualify one to serve as an emergency or law enforcement worker. Another
application is that the pupil diameter is recognized as one of the limiting factors
for visual outcome in cataract and refractive surgery (Verdon, Bullimore et al.
1996).
Pupil size and movement can be measured by either infrared videography
or computerized pupillometry. The advantage of infrared videography is its
possibility to measure the pupil size without any background light while its
disadvantage is its low resolution picture quality. The advantage of videography
and computerized pupillometery is the quality of pictures with much higher
resolution, while the system functions with a background light and therefore a
fully scotopic conditions may be difficult to achieve(Schnitzler, Baumeister et
al. 2000). Such a system has been attempted to be modified with low price
camera systems(Patil, Gale et al. 2007), however it still suffers from the high
background light and non-scotopic conditions. Most of the available instruments
on the market are either as table instruments or handheld instrument with the
disadvantage of monocular testing of only one eye while the other eye has to be
occluded.
Considering the fact that, only health care services with solid economy can
supply these tools to their patients groups. In practice, it would mean that
this form of technology would only be available to a certain group of patients
which again might be in contradiction of the universal design definition and
spirit. By designing an instrument that is easy to be manufactured in addition to
be less expensive, it would make the instrument also available for medical
systems with lower budgets.
In short, there is a need for a pupillometer, which can measure pupil
diameter while having fairly good accuracy, being handheld with a lower price
than the existing instruments.
In this paper, we have suggested an infrared based pupillometer instrument
by using a modified low-cost webcam and few light emitting diodes (LEDs)
which are controlled by the Labview computer program.

2. Pupillometery instrument
2.1 Resolution of the web camera and its modifications
In order to find out the best camera resolution needed in this application, small
dots with different diameters was printed on A4 sheets by an inject printer
(Canon Pixma iP2600). The diameter of these dots was then measured by a
microscope (Olympus, GX71), which had a digital camera (Olympus, DP71),
and a picture analyzing software. The camera could be adjusted to resolutions as
high as 4080x3072 pixels (12.5Mpixel) and as low as 640x480 pixels.

2 of 9 10/12/2013 7:03 PM
Unitech2010 - Conference Proceedings http://www.iu.hio.no/~frodes/unitech10/020-Peyman/

Figure 1. Diameter of small dots printed by an inkjet printer


on an A4 sheet was measured by a microscope.

Moreover, the diameter of the small dots with different photographical


resolutions was analyzed by using the Labview Vision system program. What is
considered normal' pupil size varies of course with age and gender. The pupil
gets smaller with age, and men usually have smaller pupils than women of the
same age. Studies show that 67% of refractive surgery patients' pupils at
scotopic condition are between 5 to 7 millimeters in diameter (Bar, Boettger et
al. 2005). An uncertainty of about 140?m in the analysis of pupil diameter was
chosen, which represented about 2% error of the largest expected pupil size.

Figure 2. resolution with a) 640x480 b) 1280x960


c)1600x1200.

Based on the requirements for the measurements error and analysis of the
microscope camera in figure 2, a webcam with a resolution of 1280x960 pixels
would satisfy the criteria.
A USB based webcam (iMicro IM210) with resolution of 1280x960
(1.3Megapixels) was carefully opened and the lens connected to the camera chip
was separated. The IR filter which usually is attached at the top of the camera

3 of 9 10/12/2013 7:03 PM
Unitech2010 - Conference Proceedings http://www.iu.hio.no/~frodes/unitech10/020-Peyman/

chip was carefully removed by using a scalpel. A piece of developed 35mm film
with an ISO100 was cut into the same dimension as the filter and placed on the
chip while the lens was re-assembled into its place again. By holding a TV
remote control in a distance of about 4 cm, it was possible to adjust the lens in
order to achieve an optimal focus.

2.2 Light source for camera and stimuli of the eye


As the pupil light reflex (PLR) does not react to light within infrared (IR)
spectrum (Wachler and Krueger 1999), using infrared light LEDs (light
emitting diodes) as the light source for the camera is advantageous for pupil size
measurements without background light. However, the placement of the
LEDs with regards to the camera lens has to be carefully calculated. If the
LEDs are placed close to the center of the lens, a reflection of the IR light would
make the analysis of pupil diameter very difficult (see figure 3).

Figure 3. Showing the reflection of IR light in the eye where


the LED is placed at the same distance from the eye
surface as the distance to the lens of the camera.

Three light diodes (Everlight, HIR204/H0) with a light wave of 850nm and a
viewing angle of 60 were chosen. The LEDs were placed around the
camera lens with a distance of 1.5cm. This means that the distance of the LED
had to be at least 2.6 cm if the light beam should not directly reflect back to the
camera. A distance of 3.6 cm was chosen in order to make sure that the
reflection of IR light would not interfere with the picture analysis in Labview
Vision systems.
Three light diodes (Everlight, HIR204/H0) with a light wave of 850nm and
a viewing angle of 60 were chosen. The LEDs were placed around the

4 of 9 10/12/2013 7:03 PM
Unitech2010 - Conference Proceedings http://www.iu.hio.no/~frodes/unitech10/020-Peyman/

camera lens with a distance of 1.5cm. This means that the distance of the LED
had to be at least 2.6 cm if the light beam should not directly reflect back to the
camera. A distance of 3.6 cm was chosen in order to make sure that the
reflection of IR light would not interfere with the picture analysis in Labview
Vision systems.
Three RGB light emitting diodes (Kingbright, KDA0 198) were also placed in
the same distance as the IR LEDs. These diodes contain blue, red and green light
chips in one package. The wavelength peak of red, green, and blue are 627nm,
565nm, and 430nm, respectively. There is a slight displacement from the center
axis of the chip which may result into a slight different beam angles. However,
this is very small changes within the chosen distance and therefore its influence
was ignored in this study. When all chips were switched simultaneously, the
LED would produce white color for stimulating eye within a broad visual
spectrum range.

2.3 Setup of camera and the electronic


Since the light stimuli and camera activation had to be out of phase, a timing
module was needed. In order to handle the timing of the system as easy as
possible, we applied a USB6008 unit from national instruments.
The unit was programmed as a sub module in the Labview program which
was handling an activation sequence in order to light up the LEDs with a
given modulation frequency. The program was also designed to calculate and
place the timing of the camera and IR LEDs activation between the light
stimuli sequences. The advantage of such a solution is that we can make precise
measurements with small time delays after the light stimuli; however the
disadvantage is that the bandwidth of the light modulation decreases because the
chosen web camera in this study was not fast enough to make several pictures
within the higher modulation frequencies than 50Hz. When modulation
frequency is selected to be lower than 30Hz, the program could take an average
of five pictures and calculate the pupil diameter with a standard deviation value.
The circuit diagram shown in figure 4 was designed to activate the light diodes
with a few external reference signals that were controlled by our Labview
program from USB6008 unit. In order to simplify the circuit, we chose two
multiplexers to handle the activation of light diodes with a sequential timing

5 of 9 10/12/2013 7:03 PM
Unitech2010 - Conference Proceedings http://www.iu.hio.no/~frodes/unitech10/020-Peyman/

Figure 4. The circuit diagram for controlling the light


emitting diodes.

Figure 5. Shows a) the de-assembled welding goggles and


b) the camera and electronic inside a black plastic cover is
mounted on the welding goggles.

To place the light diodes and the electronic in a compact assembly, an old
welding goggle (Norweld,USA) was chosen for this solution. Due to
improvement of ambient light influence, all glasses and air filters at the front
and the sides of the goggle were carefully removed (see figure 5a) and the built
electronic circuit board with the webcam was mounted in place with a black
plastic cover on top (see figure 5b). The only disadvantage of this solution was
that the goggle had to be placed on the face of the subject as tight as possible in
order to minimize any influence of the ambient light. To make the project as
simple as possible, we only made the system with one stimulation and
measuring unit on right eye. However, it is fully possible to add another unit on

6 of 9 10/12/2013 7:03 PM
Unitech2010 - Conference Proceedings http://www.iu.hio.no/~frodes/unitech10/020-Peyman/

the goggle to enable measurements on both eyes.

2.4 Measuring pupil diameter


The assembled system was tested on a 25 years old subject who gave his written
agreement for this test. The test subject wore the goggle for about 15 seconds
before the measurements started and reference pupil diameter was measured. A
stimulus started thereafter with 38% of total light intensity of the blue color
(430nm) which responded to about 5.6mcd. The stimulus time was about 10sec
with a modulation frequency of 25Hz. Then we stimulated the subject with
100% total light intensity which is equal to 20mcd. Figure 6. shows the reaction
of pupil due to the light stimulation.

Figure 6. Eye stimulation within 10 seconds with blue color


(430nm) and a modulation frequency of 25Hz at (a) 5.6 and
(b) 20mcd each with its respected control at scotopic
condition .

The pubil size at both conditions had an average value of 4.40.3mm. When
stimuli of 5.6mcd was applied for a duration of 10 seconds, the pupil size
changed to 3.80.2mm. The stimuli of 20mcd resulted to a diameter of
2.20.1mm.

3. Discussions and conclusions


Galileo was probably the first to document measurement of pupil diameter and
almost 300 years later, the significance of this in medical applications such as
refractive surgery has been realized in recent years (Helgesen, Hjortdal et al.
2004).
Human pupils are difficult to measure in all conditions of light due to
pupillary unrest and because of dynamic constant motion. Rosen et al (Rosen,
Gore et al. 2002) reported that this motion was highest under low mesopic
illumination. The results from mesopic and photopic light conditions may reflect
a decrease of standard deviation under scotopic and light stimuli conditions.
The monocular testing instruments may result to a larger pupil diameter
(Wachler and Krueger 1999) and therefore during the measurements the patients
other eye has to be occluded. This might be a rather difficult solution for fast
measurements while in this goggle design both eyes are in the same environment
inside the welding goggle. In addition this design facilitates the possibility of
having two cameras to simultaneously measure pupil diameter at both eyes.

7 of 9 10/12/2013 7:03 PM
Unitech2010 - Conference Proceedings http://www.iu.hio.no/~frodes/unitech10/020-Peyman/

The results from existing devices such as Colvard pupillometer(Colvard


1998) and Nidek autoreflector (AR-700A) with the same conditions show a
pupil diameter of about 4.80.9mm and 3.90.8mm(Wachler and Krueger
1999; Mantry, Banerjee et al. 2005). With the instrument built in this study, it
was possible to measure the pupil size around 4.40.3mm. This may indicate
that the suggested instrument has measured the pupil diameter with an error of
8% compared to those professionally made and expensive instrumentations,
however the variation in measrurements for this webcam based instrument
design is 1/3 of the measruements achieved by the existing instruments. The
total budget for the components needed to make the suggested pupillometer was
about 206, which compared to the price of other available instruments on the
market is quite modest budget. Thus, this instrument would be suggested to
institutes and services that need such medical instrument and yet have limited
financial resources.

Acknowledgement
This project was partly carried out by our electrical and electronic engineering
students at bachelor level. The author would like to use the opportunity to thank
Jon Fredrik Vle, Alexander Stams og Reza Sharkanloo to contribute to this
project.

References
Bar, K. J., M. K. Boettger, et al. (2005). "Lateralization of pupillary light
reflex parameters." Clin Neurophysiol, vol. 116, nr.4, pp. 790-8.
Colvard, M. (1998) "Preoperative measurement of scotopic pupil dilation
using an office pupillometer." J Cataract Refract Surg, vol.24,
nr.12,pp. 1594-7.
Helgesen, A., J. Hjortdal, et al. (2004) "Pupil size and night vision
disturbances after LASIK for myopia." Acta Ophthalmol Scand, vol.
82, nr.4, pp. 454-60.
Mantry, S., S. Banerjee, et al. (2005) "Scotopic measurement of normal
pupil size with the Colvard pupillometer and the Nidek
auto-refractor." Cont Lens Anterior Eye, vol.28, nr.2,pp. 53-6.
Patil, S. G., T. J. Gale, et al. (2007) "Design of Novel Assessment
techniques for opiod dependent patients." Poceedings of the 29th
annual international conference of the IEEE EMBS: 3737-3740.
Rosen, E. S., C. L. Gore, et al. (2002) "Use of a digital infrared
pupillometer to assess patient suitability for refractive surgery." J
Cataract Refract Surg, vol. 28, vol.8, pp. 1433-8.
Schnitzler, E. M., M. Baumeister, et al. (2000) "Scotopic measurement of
normal pupils: Colvard versus Video Vision Analyzer infrared

8 of 9 10/12/2013 7:03 PM
Unitech2010 - Conference Proceedings http://www.iu.hio.no/~frodes/unitech10/020-Peyman/

pupillometer." J Cataract Refract Surg, vol. 26, nr.6, pp. 859-66.


Verdon, W., M. Bullimore, et al. (1996) "Visual performance after
photorefractive keratectomy. A prospective study." Arch Ophthalmol,
vol. 114, nr.12, pp. 1465-72.
Wachler, B. S. and R. R. Krueger (1999) "Agreement and repeatability of
infrared pupillometry and the comparison method."
Ophthalmology,vol. 106, nr.2, pp. 319-23.

9 of 9 10/12/2013 7:03 PM