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Open AccessArticle

A Combined Independent Source Separation and Quality Index Optimization Method for Fetal ECG Extraction from Abdominal Maternal Leads

Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council of Italy, via Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wan-Young Chung
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1135; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17051135
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 6 May 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Sensors and Systems 2017)
The non-invasive fetal electrocardiogram (fECG) technique has recently received considerable interest in monitoring fetal health. The aim of our paper is to propose a novel fECG algorithm based on the combination of the criteria of independent source separation and of a quality index optimization (ICAQIO-based). The algorithm was compared with two methods applying the two different criteria independently—the ICA-based and the QIO-based methods—which were previously developed by our group. All three methods were tested on the recently implemented Fetal ECG Synthetic Database (FECGSYNDB). Moreover, the performance of the algorithm was tested on real data from the PhysioNet fetal ECG Challenge 2013 Database. The proposed combined method outperformed the other two algorithms on the FECGSYNDB (ICAQIO-based: 98.78%, QIO-based: 97.77%, ICA-based: 97.61%). Significant differences were obtained in particular in the conditions when uterine contractions and maternal and fetal ectopic beats occurred. On the real data, all three methods obtained very high performances, with the QIO-based method proving slightly better than the other two (ICAQIO-based: 99.38%, QIO-based: 99.76%, ICA-based: 99.37%). The findings from this study suggest that the proposed method could potentially be applied as a novel algorithm for accurate extraction of fECG, especially in critical recording conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: fetal ECG extraction; abdominal ECG; independent component analysis (ICA); quality index; optimization fetal ECG extraction; abdominal ECG; independent component analysis (ICA); quality index; optimization
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Billeci, L.; Varanini, M. A Combined Independent Source Separation and Quality Index Optimization Method for Fetal ECG Extraction from Abdominal Maternal Leads. Sensors 2017, 17, 1135.

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