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An ECG simulator with a novel ECG profile for physiological signals

Jan-Christoph Edelmann, Dominik Mair, Daniel Ziesel, Martin Burtscher, Thomas Ussmueller
Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology 2019 February 18, : 1-9
This work introduces a low-cost open-source electrocardiography (ECG) simulator comprising both MATLAB software for signal generation and a dedicated circuit board for signal output via a commercial sound card. Synthetic, rate-dependent ECG simulation is based on third-order polynomials that are calculated in sections for the main waves and spikes, respectively. Besides the heart rate, the output profile is fully adjustable with respect to Einthoven lead signals I-III, the amplitudes of the individual ECG waves and spikes, as well as the constitution and intensity of common distortions. The underlying coefficients for the synthetic ECG profile are obtained experimentally by analysing recordings of 22 healthy individuals with heart rates in the range of 40-180 bpm. Eight of these recordings are selected to determine the coefficients for the polynomials (training set) while the remaining 14 serve as test set to evaluate their applicability and accuracy. Thereby, a mean correlation of 98.57% is found which is superior in comparison with a widely accepted rate-dependent ECG profile that is generated from square root and linear terms (correlation score: 91.46%). Although other use-cases are feasible, the focus of this work is the development of an ECG simulator for academic research and university education. Both the MATLAB source code and the circuit layout files are available in the online supplement stimulating further work on this topic.


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