Understanding Photoplethysmography

Source P.H. Charlton (CC BY 4.0)


A set of resources to aid the beginner and expert alike in understanding photoplethysmography.

An introduction to photoplethysmography

  • A comprehensive overview: This review paper summarises the fundamentals of photoplethysmography, its use in wearables, signal processing, and its potential clinical applications.

  • A very quick overview: This short video provides an introduction to photoplethysmography in a minute (and a bit).

Wearable photoplethysmography devices

Signal processing

  • A comprehensive overview of PPG signal processing: Our book chapter on photoplethysmography signal processing provides an overview of a wide range of techniques for processing the photoplethysmogram (PPG) signal.
  • Respiratory rate estimation: If you’re interested in estimating respiratory rate from the PPG, then see our review paper on the topic.
  • Vascular age: If you’re interested in assessing vascular age from the PPG, then see our review paper on the topic. Includes: blood pressure estimation, assessing arterial stiffness, and identifying peripheral arterial disease. If you’re interested in this topic, then you might consider joining this working group, part of VascAgeNet, a network for research into vascular ageing.

Clinical applications

  • Opportunities for photoplethysmography in public health: This presentation provides an overview of some potential applications of photoplethysmography in Public Health.

The latest developments in photoplethysmography

  • Webinars: To stay up to date with the latest developments in photoplethysmography by attending this free webinar series.
Peter Charlton
Peter Charlton
Research Fellow

Biomedical Engineer specialising in signal processing for wearables.