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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2008 Sep;55(9):2190-7. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2008.923916.

Integrated approach for fetal QRS detection.

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Graduate Institute of Technology, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR 72204, USA.


Fetal magnetocardiography provides reliable signals of the fetal heart dynamics with high temporal resolution that can be used in a clinical setting. We present a robust Hilbert transform method for extraction of the fetal heart rate. Our method may be applied to signals derived from a single channel or an array of channels. In the case of multichannel data, the channels can be combined to improve signal-to-noise ratio for the extraction of fetal heart data. The method is inherently insensitive to fetal position or movement and, in addition, can be automated. We demonstrate that the determination of R-wave timing is relatively insensitive to waveform morphology. The method can also be applied if the data were preprocessed by independent component analysis (ICA). We compared the Hilbert method, ICA, ICA + Hilbert, and raw signals and found that the Hilbert method gave the best overall performance. We demonstrated that there were approximately 171 errors in 46,789 fetal heart beats.

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