IJRIT International Journal of Research in Information Technology, Volume 1, Issue 12, December, 2013, Pg. 115-121

International Journal of Research in Information Technology (IJRIT)


ISSN 2001-5569

Implementation of Portable ECG Data Acquisition System using ARM7TDMI Ravi Chandra Katari1, L.V.Rajani Kumari2 1


PG student, Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. [email protected]

Assistant Professor, Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. [email protected] Abstract

The electrical activity of human heart is graphically represented by the ECG (Electrocardiogram). These signals could be measured by electrodes from human body, where the signals are subjected to simple electrical circuits like amplifiers and analogto-digital converters. The objective of ECG signal analysis is to improve the measurement accuracy and ease of understanding the extracted information. The scope of this project is to design and develop a compact and easy domestic health monitoring device that generates reports of the ECG, thereby consistently monitoring the human cardiac health status for precautionary proceedings. This project may be further extended to suitable wireless technologies such as GSM, where an authorized person can receive the updates through media like mobile phones and cautioned whenever an emergency service is required.

Keywords: ARM7TDMI, LPC2148, SPI protocol, portable ECG Data Acquisition, Limb leads, .xls format, denoising ECG, muscle noise

1. Introduction to ECG The ECG waveform appears to have five deflections for each heart beat which is universally termed as PQRST waves. These waveforms appear periodically with the heart beats through which we can predict the cardiac health status under various conditions besides the heart rate in terms of beats per minute. The Fig. 1 shown below represents the intervals of P wave, QRS complex and the T wave, each of whose amplitude is in the order of millivolts and time is measured in milliseconds [3].

Ravi Chandra Katari, IJRIT


Fig. 1 ECG waveform notations The heart beat recordings are taken with the help of ECG electrodes. The ECG sensor used in the thesis comprises of three electrodes that measures the difference in electrical energy between the electrodes that are connected to both the arms taking voltage from left leg as the reference. The placement of electrodes to extract the signals is crucial that affects the performance characteristics and efficiency. In general, the electrodes are placed on each limb that avoids direct contact with bones and muscles which results in noise in the waveforms.

Fig. 2 Limb Leads placement for 3-channel ECG The leads shown in the Fig. 2 are termed as the Limb leads whose placements and polarities are mentioned below: Lead I  Lead II  Lead III 

LA positive, RA negative RA negative, LL positive LA negative, LL positive

The data will be collected from Leads I and II, with the difference of these two channels being equal to Lead III [3]. In our project, the electrode connected to the left leg (LL) is taken as the reference.

2. Hardware Setup The project thesis consists of a customized ARM7 development board that uses UART port for PC interfacing, MAX232 level shifter, real time clock, 16X2 matrix LCD display and a SD card slot [5]. On the other Ravi Chandra Katari, IJRIT


side, the thesis is fitted with 7.2V 700mAh battery which has a provision to charge and deliver power to the system simultaneously through an AC to DC adapter. The MAX232 is a dual driver/receiver and typically converts the RX, TX, CTS and RTS signals. It converts signals from an RS-232 (+3 V to +15 V) serial port to signals suitable for use in TTL compatible digital logic circuits. The SD card is set to SPI mode in the C code, so that the communication would be SPI protocol where the microcontroller is the ‘master’ and the SD card behaves like a ‘slave’. For electrodes to make a proper contact with the skin, we used disposable adhesive ECG electrodes that can be stuck to the limbs surface and connected to the wires with the help of button or hook provided on the electrode without loose connections.

Fig. 3 Hardware thesis of portable ECG system The power supply board is meant for suitable power distribution to the entire system after stepping down the voltage to the required level. The power supply board also bears the responsibility of circuit protection which is very important for system’s performance over a period of time. The ECG sensor is fitted on the thesis, making sure that its performance is not affected due to the power supply and clocking signals. It is totally insulated along with amplifier and filter circuits in a plastic shield. A clip type heart rate sensor and its amplifier is also connected on the thesis, but momentarily it is reserved for future use. It counts the number of R peaks and records the heart rate.

Ravi Chandra Katari, IJRIT


Fig. 4 Block Diagram of the thesis

3. Method of Implementation The implementation procedure is as explained below briefly:

3.1 Coding in C Initially the target file (.hex file) created for the C code that is written and tested in Keil µVision 4 is dumped into the LPC2148 through the serial UART port using Flash Magic software. During this process the LPC2148 is switched to ISP mode. Once the program’s .hex file is dumped, the LPC2148 to switched to boot-loader mode to run the program.

3.2 System Initialization The device is configured with current date and time settings for the first usage of installed program through PC. Once the date and time settings are done, the program then checks for the availability of SD card. If the SD card is not present or corrupted/damaged, the error message is displayed on the LCD.

3.3 Running the program When the SD card is detected, the program does the following: a) Creates a .xls file in the SD card with the name of date and time; for example let us assume that program is run on October 4th, 2013, 12:00:00pm. Then the name of the file would be 100413120000. In general, the format of .xls file name is MMDDYYHHMMSS. b) A timer is initiated for recording the reading up to 60 seconds. c) Initializes the ADC channel to retrieve and convert the analog information into scaled digital information. The amplitude is of the order of few millivolts under normal condition which is simultaneously stored in rows of the spreadsheet. d) After the limited time of 60 seconds, the ADC channel is terminated and a message that says “ECG recorded” is displayed on LCD infinitely until the reset button is pressed or the power is off.

3.4 Importing files Once the data is recorded onto the SD card, we the retrieve the information graphically by plotting them in software such as Labview or MATLAB tools. In our project, we used Labview to view the recorded information. Before subjecting the data into suitable filter blocks we cannot view the smooth waveforms. This is due to the switching frequency of the microcontroller and external noises also show impact over the results. The noisy signal that is not subjected to filter blocks is shown in Fig. 5. Ravi Chandra Katari, IJRIT


When the signal shown above is allowed to pass through band pass filter ranging between 0.05Hz to 50Hz, the signal is de-noised to the maximum extent, and allows us to analyze the cardiac activity.

Fig. 5 Noisy ECG signal after recording

Fig. 6 Flowchart demonstrating the working principle

Ravi Chandra Katari, IJRIT


4. Results and Analysis: We can clearly notice the difference with and without subjecting to filter blocks as shown in Fig. 7. Also we can determine and analyze the amplitude and time periods of QRS complex through this observation. It is noticed that for most cases, the R peak is about 9mV and the QRS internal is observed to be 110 milli seconds that indicates the normal cardiac health [2] [6].

Fig. 7 De-Noised ECG signal after filtering observed in Labview

5. Conclusion In this thesis, we have developed a portable ECG system prototype through which one can record and observe that the readings obtained are stored in SD card in .xls format unlike the traditional .dat format [4], so that the user can analyze the data more comfortably and can view the graphs with the regular software available. This can further be implemented as a mobile ECG device where a human can continue with his regular activities by wearing the device [1], so that without his attention the de-noised data can be stored irrespective of his physical movement that undergoes muscle noise. For this, we must be able to compensate the filter techniques to extract denoised data without muscle noise

6. Acknowledgments We express sincere gratitude to our Principal Dr.C.D.Naidu and all the faculty members of the Department of ECE for the knowledge they have imparted to us throughout, which has come long way in making this study a reality. We are thankful to the Head of ECE Department, Dr.Y.Padma Sai and our project co-ordinator Dr.V.Padmaja, Professor, VNR VJIET for their encouragement and precious suggestions whenever required. Our heart-felt thanks to Dr.M.Venkateshwara Rao, Professor, Dept. of BME, OU, for his valuable suggestions and unflinching co-operation towards the completion of the project. Finally we thank everyone who helped us in this process. And we would like to thank all those who directly or indirectly were associated with us in bringing this project to its logical end.

Ravi Chandra Katari, IJRIT


7. References [1] J. Ottenbacher and S. Heuer, “Motion artefacts in capacitively coupled ECG electrodes,” in IFMBE Proceedings World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, vol. 25/4, O. D¨ossel and W.C. Schlegel, Eds. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2010, pp. 1059–1062. [2] J. C. T. B. Moraes, M. M. Freitas, F. N. Vilani, and E. V. Costa, “A QRS complex detection algorithm using electrocardiogram leads,” in Proc.IEEE Comput. Cardiol., 2002. [3] http://en.ecgpedia.org/wiki/Basics [4] http://www.physionet.org/physiobank/database/ptbdb/ [5] http://infocenter.arm.com/help/index.jsp? [6] http://www.ecglibrary.com/norm.html

Ravi Chandra Katari, IJRIT


Implementation of Portable ECG Data Acquisition System using ... - IJRIT

can receive the updates through media like mobile phones and cautioned whenever an emergency service is required. Keywords: ARM7TDMI, LPC2148, SPI ... dumped into the LPC2148 through the serial UART port using Flash Magic software. During this process the .... Cardiol., 2002. [3] http://en.ecgpedia.org/wiki/Basics.

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