Changes in body position alter the relative angle between ECG electrodes and the mean electric axis of the heart. These changes influence the time interval during which the projection of the electric dipole, on any ECG lead, is positive (R-wave). In this study, measurements of R-wave duration (RWD) were used to identify changes in body position, and two of its uncorrelated features were used to classify each heartbeat into four basic groups relating to four body positions (supine, prone, left-side, right-side). Data were acquired from healthy volunteers during controlled condition experiments that included well-defined sequences of body positions and simultaneous recordings of ECG leads I, II and III. Results showed over 90% correct identifications ofbody position changes when using any of the three leads. Lead II had the best performance for theclassification of body position and correctly classified 80% of heartbeats. Classification did not improve for a combination of two leads. The technique can be used to reveal additional important clinical information and can be easily implemented, in a variety of applications where ECG is recorded, such as sleep studies, Holter recordings and ischaemia detection.
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Shinar, Z., Baharav, A. & Akselrod, S. Detection of different recumbent body positions from the electrocardiogram. Med. Biol. Eng. Comput. 41, 206–210 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02344890
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