Localization of ECG QRS Waves Through Spectral Estimation of Heart Rate

  • Rajani AkulaEmail author
  • Hamdi Mohamed
Conference paper
Part of the Learning and Analytics in Intelligent Systems book series (LAIS, volume 3)


An Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a biomedical signal that contains information about the functioning of the heart which is extracted by means of signal processing to assess cardiac functions.

The main feature of the ECG is the R wave in the QRS complex which defines the basic physiological finding in the heart (i.e.) heart rate. The crucial work in ECG analysis is to detect the R waves which are variant in amplitudes and locations throughout the rhythm strip making it difficult to set an amplitude threshold in priori to detect them. Most of ECG analysis methods rely on the detection of the R waves basically for primary as well as secondary analysis.

In this paper we propose a method to localize the R waves without setting a threshold in priori, nether static nor dynamic. The proposed method firstly achieves an estimate of the heart rate by analyzing the spectrum of the ECG signal in order to determine the set of points that includes the R waves and consequently localize the R waves in the time domain representation of the ECG signal. We estimate the heart rate by detecting the most significant energy frequency component in the spectrum that is in the range 0.5 Hz to 6 Hz and the corresponding time period (i.e. reciprocal of frequency component), then we find the maximum amplitude point in the ECG signal which definitely corresponds to an R wave. Starting from that point we go in both directions till the beginning and the end of the signal at a step size equal to the fundamental period aforementioned (i.e.) estimated heart rate component. As a result, the set that contains expected locations of all R waves is obtained. Finally a symmetrical time domain unity amplitude window is designed which is centered at every expected location found earlier and then the maximum amplitude points’ within the window area are found which are going to represent the exact the R wave locations.


ECG Detection Heart QRS Rate 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jawaharlal Nehru Technological UniversityHyderabadIndia

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