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Communications of the ACM

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­t Researchers Develop Algorithm to Improve Remote Electrocardiography


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An algorithm developed by a team at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT), has the potential to make an electrocardiogram (ECG) more effective.

The ECG is used to screen for cardiac abnormalities, but misplaced electrodes and disturbances, such as patient motion and electromagnetic noise, can produce interferences. The UT algorithm is based on a matrix that simultaneously tests for irregular patterns caused by such interference, enabling it to produce a more accurate A-F letter grade to indicate specific weaknesses in the test, rather than a typical yes-no classification result.

The team also designed the algorithm to make recommendations for the placement of electrodes. The algorithm has been implemented in a Java program, which can be installed and used on a smartphone. The program takes only a second to execute on a smartphone and assess a 10-second ECG.

"There is a large population that does not receive good health care because they live in rural communities," says UT professor Xiaopeng Zhao. "We hope our invention brings their health care quality more in line with that of the developed world by reducing errors and improving the quality of ECGs."

From Tennessee Today
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