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ECG Signal Quality Measurement. Client: Alan Clapp - Senior Electrical Engineer, GE Medical Systems Advisor: John G. Webster, Ph. D Group Members: Paul Anheier, Michael Piché, John Puccinelli, Scott Wiese. Problem Statement:.

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ecg signal quality measurement

ECG Signal Quality Measurement

Client: Alan Clapp - Senior Electrical Engineer, GE Medical Systems

Advisor: John G. Webster, Ph. D

Group Members: Paul Anheier, Michael Piché,

John Puccinelli, Scott Wiese

problem statement
Problem Statement:
  • Although modern ECGs sufficiently eliminate many types of interference, more optimization is possible and necessary. The focus of the project, therefore, is to further improve signal quality and develop a reliable alert system to detect signal degradation whether through procedural guidelines and/or hardware modifications.
  • Poor ECG signals can have many causes:
    • Electrical interference from other instruments/power lines/lights
    • Improper electrode placement
    • Poor electrode adhesion
    • Electrode aging/degradation
  • Most common causes occur at the skin/electrode interface
  • Poor contact or old electrodes result in high impedance at the skin/electrode interface
  • This results in a degradation of signal amplitude and an increased susceptibility to motion artifact
  • What is deemed “good” signal quality is highly subjective
  • It is impractical to determine a universally acceptable signal quality due to subjectivity
  • Solution?...
proposed solution
Proposed Solution
  • Include as a feature on future electrocardiographs a graphical display of measured skin impedance over time
  • Graph would have fixed scale to make interpretation easier
  • Clinicians could make their own decisions on signal quality based on trends in the graph
requirements for implementation
Requirements for Implementation
  • We must determine a suitable scale to use for graph of skin resistance
  • Determination of the best carrier signal to measure impedance (DC, ~.2 Hz, 250 Hz)
  • Determine impedance level above which problems frequently occur
  • Determination a typical response of skin impedance over a long time interval (24 hours)
carrier signal testing
Carrier Signal Testing
  • Goal: Identify most reliable/accurate carrier signal for measuring impedance.
  • Skin is not perfect resistor, must determine behavior at different frequencies
  • Candidates (at request of GE engineers)
    • DC
    • 250 Hz
    • .2 Hz
carrier signal testing2
Carrier Signal Testing
  • Human Subjects Committee has conditionally approved public participants.
    • With this approval, we can maximize test subject diversity
      • ↑ subjects = ↑ skin types = more realistic results
  • Considerations for Analysis
    • Input impedance of oscilloscope
    • Skin resistance changes over time
skin impedance testing
Skin Impedance Testing
  • Goal: Collect data over 24 hours of impedance change at skin-resistor interface. Use to establish a scale.
  • Study is to include multiple types of electrodes.
  • Necessary for implementation of a graphical display of skin impedance change versus time.
future directions
Future Directions
  • Complete carrier signal testing and analysis.
  • Establish resistance scale.
  • Develop layout of graphical display.
  • Characterize quality/response of various electrodes.
  • Submit to GE for review and possible implementation.
  • Publish the findings.
  • Graphical representation of skin impedance will provide useful data and help make decisions on signal/electrode quality
  • Determining a signal carrier is a key component of representing resistance changes.