Cardiorespiratory dynamics: algorithms and application to mental stress monitoring

The rate at which our heart beats, is a dynamical process enabling adaptive changes according to the demands of our body. These variations in heart rate are widely studied in so-called heart rate variability (HRV) analyses, as they contain much information about the activity of our autonomic nervous system. Variability in the heart rate arises from several processes, such as thermoregulation, hormones, arterial blood pressure, respiration, etc. One of the main short-term modulators of the heart rate is respiration. This phenomenon is called respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and comprises the rhythmic fluctuation of the heart rate at respiratory frequency. It has also widely been used as an index of vagal outflow. However, this has been widely debated as some studies have shown that the magnitude of RSA changes with respiratory rate and the depth of breathing, independently of parasympathetic activity. ...

Widjaja, Devy — KU Leuven


Heart rate variability : linear and nonlinear analysis with applications in human physiology

Cardiovascular diseases are a growing problem in today’s society. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that these diseases make up about 30% of total global deaths and that heart diseases have no geographic, gender or socioeconomic boundaries. Therefore, detecting cardiac irregularities early-stage and a correct treatment are very important. However, this requires a good physiological understanding of the cardiovascular system. The heart is stimulated electrically by the brain via the autonomic nervous system, where sympathetic and vagal pathways are always interacting and modulating heart rate. Continuous monitoring of the heart activity is obtained by means of an ElectroCardioGram (ECG). Studying the fluctuations of heart beat intervals over time reveals a lot of information and is called heart rate variability (HRV) analysis. A reduction of HRV has been reported in several cardiological and noncardiological diseases. Moreover, HRV also has a prognostic ...

Vandeput, Steven — KU Leuven


Spatio-temporal characterization of the surface electrocardiogram for catheter ablation outcome prediction in persistent atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice, and one of the main causes of ictus and strokes. Despite the advances in the comprehension of its mechanisms, its thorough characterization and the quantification of its effects on the human heart are still an open issue. In particular, the choice of the most appropriate therapy is frequently a hard task. Radiofrequency catheter ablation (CA) is becoming one of the most popular solutions for the treatment of the disease. Yet, very little is known about its impact on heart substrate during AF, thus leading to an inaccurate selection of positive responders to therapy and a low success rate; hence, the need for advanced signal processing tools able to quantify AF impact on heart substrate and assess the effectiveness of the CA therapy in an objective and ...

Marianna Meo — Université Nice Sophia Antipolis


Mining the ECG: Algorithms and Applications

This research focuses on the development of algorithms to extract diagnostic information from the ECG signal, which can be used to improve automatic detection systems and home monitoring solutions. In the first part of this work, a generically applicable algorithm for model selection in kernel principal component analysis is presented, which was inspired by the derivation of respiratory information from the ECG signal. This method not only solves a problem in biomedical signal processing, but more importantly offers a solution to a long-standing problem in the field of machine learning. Next, a methodology to quantify the level of contamination in a segment of ECG is proposed. This level is used to detect artifacts, and to improve the performance of different classifiers, by removing these artifacts from the training set. Furthermore, an evaluation of three different methodologies to compute the ECG-derived ...

Varon, Carolina — KU Leuven


Exploiting Sparsity for Efficient Compression and Analysis of ECG and Fetal-ECG Signals

Over the last decade there has been an increasing interest in solutions for the continuous monitoring of health status with wireless, and in particular, wearable devices that provide remote analysis of physiological data. The use of wireless technologies have introduced new problems such as the transmission of a huge amount of data within the constraint of limited battery life devices. The design of an accurate and energy efficient telemonitoring system can be achieved by reducing the amount of data that should be transmitted, which is still a challenging task on devices with both computational and energy constraints. Furthermore, it is not sufficient merely to collect and transmit data, and algorithms that provide real-time analysis are needed. In this thesis, we address the problems of compression and analysis of physiological data using the emerging frameworks of Compressive Sensing (CS) and sparse ...

Da Poian, Giulia — University of Udine


Extraction and Denoising of Fetal ECG Signals

Congenital heart defects are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths. The fetal electrocardiogram (fECG), which is believed to contain much more information as compared with conventional sonographic methods, can be measured by placing electrodes on the mother’s abdomen. However, it has very low power and is mixed with several sources of noise and interference, including the strong maternal ECG (mECG). In previous studies, several methods have been proposed for the extraction of fECG signals recorded from the maternal body surface. However, these methods require a large number of sensors, and are ineffective with only one or two sensors. In this study, state modeling, statistical and deterministic approaches are proposed for capturing weak traces of fetal cardiac signals. These three methods implement different models of the quasi-periodicity of the cardiac signal. In the first approach, the heart rate and its ...

Niknazar, Mohammad — University of Grenoble


Extraction of efficient and characteristic features of multidimensional time series

In numerous signal processing applications one disposes of multiple probes, delivering simultaneously information about one or multiple observed processes. The resulting multidimensional time series are often highly redundant and may contain stochastic contributions. The perception of the useful information becomes therefore very difficult and sometimes impossible. Thus, the major issue of concern of this thesis resides in the development of novel algorithms for the extraction of the salient and characteristic features of multidimensional time series. The proposed algorithms are based on parametric signal processing, namely we assume that the features of the experimental data can be represented efficiently by a specific model. We present a global framework for the selection of a specific model out of the large span of techniques proposed in the literature. For the selection of the model classes we use, in addition to prior knowledge about ...

Vetter, Rolf — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology


Biomechanics based analysis of sleep

The fact that a third of a human life is spent in a bed indicates the essential character of sleep. While some people might opt voluntarily for sleep deprivation, others don’t get to choose. Their healthy pattern of sleep is disrupted due to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia and restless legs syndrome. Most clinical diagnoses revolve around complaints of excessive daytime sleepiness. People usually wait quite long however before contacting professional help, and might only do so when complaints have gone from minor to serious. It can be argued that people with minor complaints will have negligible compliance to rather obtrusive therapies, and should not be treated with pharmaceuticals. However, cognitive and behavioral therapy has proven its effectiveness for clinically diagnosed patients in different domains, and might thus also enhance the quality of life for people with minor ...

Willemen, Tim — KU Leuven


Self-Organization and Data Compression in Wireless Sensor Networks of Extreme Scales: Application to Environmental Monitoring, Climatology and Bioengineering

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) aim for accurate data gathering and representation of one or multiple physical variables from the environment, by means of sensor reading and wireless data packets transmission to a Data Fusion Center (DFC). There is no comprehensive common set of requirements for all WSN, as they are application dependent. Moreover, due to specific node capabilities or energy consumption constraints several tradeoffs have to be considered during the design, and particularly, the price of the sensor nodes is a determining factor. The distinction between small and large scale WSNs does not only refers to the quantity of sensor nodes, but also establishes the main design challenges in each case. For example, the node organization is a key issue in large scale WSNs, where many inexpensive nodes have to properly work in a coordinated manner. Regarding the amount of ...

Chidean, Mihaela I. — Rey Juan Carlos University


Analysis of electrophysiological measurements during stress monitoring

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are a growing problem in todays society. These musculoskeletal disorders are caused by, amongst others, repetitive movements and mental stress. Stress is defined as the mismatch between a perceived demand and the perceived capacities to meet this demand. Although stress has a subjective origin, several physiological manifestations (e.g. cardiovascular and muscular) occur during periods of perceived stress. New insight and algorithms to extract information, related to stress are beneficial. Therefore, two series of stress experiments are executed in a laboratory environment, where subjects underwent different tasks inducing physical strain, mental stress and a combination of both. In this manuscript, new and modified algorithms for electromyography signals are presented that improve the individual analysis of electromyography signals. A first algorithm removes the interference of the electrical activity of the heart on singlechannel electromyography measurements. This interference signal is ...

Taelman, Joachim — KU Leuven


EEG-Biofeedback and Epilepsy: Concept, Methodology and Tools for (Neuro)therapy Planning and Objective Evaluation

Objective diagnosis and therapy evaluation are still challenging tasks for many neurological disorders. This is highly related to the diversity of cases and the variety of treatment modalities available. Especially in the case of epilepsy, which is a complex disorder not well-explained at the biochemical and physiological levels, there is the need for investigations for novel features, which can be extracted and quantified from electrophysiological signals in clinical practice. Neurotherapy is a complementary treatment applied in various disorders of the central nervous system, including epilepsy. The method is subsumed under behavioral medicine and is considered an operant conditioning in psychological terms. Although the application areas of this promising unconventional approach are rapidly increasing, the method is strongly debated, since the neurophysiological underpinnings of the process are not yet well understood. Therefore, verification of the efficacy of the treatment is one ...

Kirlangic, Mehmet Eylem — Technische Universitaet Ilmenau


Ultra low-power biomedical signal processing: an analog wavelet filter approach for pacemakers

The purpose of this thesis is to describe novel signal processing methodologies and analog integrated circuit techniques for low-power biomedical systems. Physiological signals, such as the electrocardiogram (ECG), the electroencephalogram (EEG) and the electromyogram (EMG) are mostly non-stationary. The main difficulty in dealing with biomedical signal processing is that the information of interest is often a combination of features that are well localized temporally (e.g., spikes) and others that are more diffuse (e.g., small oscillations). This requires the use of analysis methods sufficiently versatile to handle events that can be at opposite extremes in terms of their time-frequency localization. Wavelet Transform (WT) has been extensively used in biomedical signal processing, mainly due to the versatility of the wavelet tools. The WT has been shown to be a very efficient tool for local analysis of nonstationary and fast transient signals due ...

Haddad, Sandro Augusto Pavlík — Delft University of Technology


Bayesian Fusion of Multi-band Images: A Powerful Tool for Super-resolution

Hyperspectral (HS) imaging, which consists of acquiring a same scene in several hundreds of contiguous spectral bands (a three dimensional data cube), has opened a new range of relevant applications, such as target detection [MS02], classification [C.-03] and spectral unmixing [BDPD+12]. However, while HS sensors provide abundant spectral information, their spatial resolution is generally more limited. Thus, fusing the HS image with other highly resolved images of the same scene, such as multispectral (MS) or panchromatic (PAN) images is an interesting problem. The problem of fusing a high spectral and low spatial resolution image with an auxiliary image of higher spatial but lower spectral resolution, also known as multi-resolution image fusion, has been explored for many years [AMV+11]. From an application point of view, this problem is also important as motivated by recent national programs, e.g., the Japanese next-generation space-borne ...

Wei, Qi — University of Toulouse


Privacy Preserving Processing of Biomedical Signals with Application to Remote Healthcare Systems

To preserve the privacy of patients and service providers in biomedical signal processing applications, particular attention has been given to the use of secure multiparty computation techniques. This thesis focuses on the development of a privacy preserving automatic diagnosis system whereby a remote server classifies a biomedical signal provided by the patient without getting any information about the signal itself and the final result of the classification. Specifically, we present and compare two methods for the secure classification of electrocardiogram (ECG) signals: the former based on linear branching programs and the latter relying on neural networks. Moreover a protocol that performs a preliminary evaluation of the signal quality is proposed. The thesis deals with all the requirements and difficulties related to working with data that must stay encrypted during all the computation steps. The proposed systems prove that carrying out ...

Lazzeretti, Riccardo — University of Siena


Application-driven Advances in Multi-biometric Fusion

Biometric recognition is the automated recognition of individuals based on their behavioral or biological characteristics. Beside forensic applications, this technology aims at replacing the outdated and attack prone, physical and knowledge-based, proofs of identity. Choosing one biometric characteristic is a tradeoff between universality, acceptability, and permanence, among other factors. Moreover, the accuracy cap of the chosen characteristic may limit the scalability and usability for some applications. The use of multiple biometric sources within a unified frame, i.e. multi-biometrics, aspires to tackle the limitations of single source biometrics and thus enables a wider implementation of the technology. This work aims at presenting application-driven advances in multi-biometrics by addressing different elements of the multi-biometric system work-flow. At first, practical oriented pre-fusion issues regarding missing data imputation and score normalization are discussed. This includes presenting a novel performance anchored score normalization technique that ...

Damer, Naser — Technische Universität Darmstadt

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