, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 445-455
Date: 03 Oct 2009

Evaluation of a Novel Integrated Sensor System for Synchronous Measurement of Cardiac Vibrations and Cardiac Potentials

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Abstract

The measurement of human body vibrations as a result of heart beating, simultaneously with cardiac potentials have been demonstrated in past studies to bring additional value to diagnostic cardiology through the detection of irregularities in the mechanical movement of the heart. The equipment currently available to the medical community is either large and bulky or difficult to synchronize. To address this problem, a novel integrated sensor system has been developed to record cardiac vibration and cardiac potential simultaneously and synchronously from a single compact site on the chest. The developed sensor system is lightweight, small in size, and suitable for mounting on active moving patients. The sensor is evaluated for its adequacy in measuring cardiac vibrations and potentials. In this evaluation, 45 independent signal recording are studied from 15 volunteers, and the morphology of the recorded signals are analyzed qualitatively (by visual inspection) and quantitatively (by computational methods) against larger devices used in established cardiac vibration studies (reference devices). It is found that the cardiac vibration signals acquired by the integrated sensor has 92.37% and 81.76% identically identifiable systolic and diastolic cardiac complexes, respectively, when compared to the cardiac vibration signals recorded simultaneously from the reference device. Further, the cardiac potential signals acquired by the integrated sensor show a high correlation coefficient of 0.8912 and a high estimated signal-to-noise-ratio of 22.00 dB when compared to the reference electrocardiograph (non-standard leads) acquired through a common clinical machine. The results suggest that the tiny, wearable, integrated sensor system that synchronously measures cardiac vibrations and cardiac potentials may be practical for use as an alternative or assistive cardiac diagnostic tool.