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A Novel Compression Algorithm for Electrocardiogram Signals based on Wavelet Transform and SPIHT

Authors: Sana Ktata, Kaïs Ouni, Noureddine Ellouze


Electrocardiogram (ECG) data compression algorithm is needed that will reduce the amount of data to be transmitted, stored and analyzed, but without losing the clinical information content. A wavelet ECG data codec based on the Set Partitioning In Hierarchical Trees (SPIHT) compression algorithm is proposed in this paper. The SPIHT algorithm has achieved notable success in still image coding. We modified the algorithm for the one-dimensional (1-D) case and applied it to compression of ECG data. By this compression method, small percent root mean square difference (PRD) and high compression ratio with low implementation complexity are achieved. Experiments on selected records from the MIT-BIH arrhythmia database revealed that the proposed codec is significantly more efficient in compression and in computation than previously proposed ECG compression schemes. Compression ratios of up to 48:1 for ECG signals lead to acceptable results for visual inspection.

Keywords: discrete wavelet transform, ECG compression, SPIHT

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