EML Project Snapshot: Electrocardiography Visualization and Classification

Project team members this semesterDr. Matthew Yedlin, EECE (PI), Dr. Liisa Holsti, The Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (PI), George Gu (Developer, EML staff), Dante Cerron (Developer, EML staff), Jinil Patel (Student Software Developer 
Electrocardiography is the process of producing an electrocardiogram (ECG), which records electrical signals in the heart. The signals are displayed in a graph of voltage as a function of time. Traditionally, ECGs are viewed in a 1D format, which can show around a minute‘s worth of data on one screen. However, cardiologists need data ranging from 30 minutes to 8 hours for diagnostic purposes, requiring them to go through multiple ECG graphs and put them together, which can be quite a cumbersome process. To solve this problem, Dr. Matt Yedlin (PI), proposed the creation of a data-driven ECG diagnostic tool using machine learning for cardiologists. The ECG project team at EML was formed and started developing the project in early 2020. 
The team developed a 3D ECG visualization that is able to display several hours’ worth of data at the same time. They acquired electrocardiograms, performed signal processing to reduce/eliminate noise, and then created 3D images of ECG records in Unity.  
All the data processing was done using MATLAB and Python. Other software that the team is using include AWS SageMaker for creating machine-learning models in the cloud and AWS S3 buckets for storing confidential medical neonatal intensive care unit data.  
This summer, the team is working on creating a generative adversarial network (GAN) model, a machine learning model that can generate more datasets similar to actual neonatal intensive care unit data. Due to medical confidentiality, the amount of neonatal intensive care unit data was limited, which is why the team needed to expand the training data size using machine learning models by augmenting a sample of actual ECG data to create realistic artificial ECG data for deep neural network training and to improve training accuracy. 
Because the visualization uses the Unity 3D engine, the team was also able to easily port the application to Microsoft HoloLens, the augmented reality smart glasses. With the HoloLens, people can simply wear a headset and navigate the data by rotating their heads, which not only offers a different perspective for viewing data but also offers more agility and a more immersive diagnostic experienceUsers can also use VR controllers to navigate through the ECG data. Beyond ECG visualizations, the framework that the project team has developed can also be used for other time-series analyses. 
The image below shows several minutes of ECG data displayed in Unity 3D with anomalies highlighted in red:  
A navigating demo can be seen below:
To learn more about the project, check out the EML Summer Showcase happening next month where all project teams at EML will be presenting and explaining their work!