Simultaneous 12-Lead Electrocardiogram Synthesis using a Single-Lead ECG Signal: Application to Handheld ECG Devices

Kahkashan Afrin, Parikshit Verma, Sanjay S. Srivatsa, Satish T. S. Bukkapatnam

Recent introduction of wearable single-lead ECG devices of diverse configurations has caught the intrigue of the medical community. While these devices provide a highly affordable support tool for the caregivers for continuous monitoring and to detect acute conditions, such as arrhythmia, their utility for cardiac diagnostics remains limited. This is because clinical diagnosis of many cardiac pathologies is rooted in gleaning patterns from synchronous 12-lead ECG. If synchronous 12-lead signals of clinical quality can be synthesized from these single-lead devices, it can transform cardiac care by substantially reducing the costs and enhancing access to cardiac diagnostics. However, prior attempts to synthesize synchronous 12-lead ECG have not been successful. Vectorcardiography (VCG) analysis suggests that cardiac axis synthesized from earlier attempts deviates significantly from that estimated from 12-lead and/or Frank lead measurements. This work is perhaps the first successful attempt to synthesize clinically equivalent synchronous 12-lead ECG from single-lead ECG. Our method employs a random forest machine learning model that uses a subject's historical 12-lead recordings to estimate the morphology including the actual timing of various ECG events (relative to the measured single-lead ECG) for all 11 missing leads of the subject. Our method was validated on two benchmark datasets as well as paper ECG and AliveCor-Kardia data obtained from the Heart, Artery, and Vein Center of Fresno, California. Results suggest that this approach can synthesize synchronous ECG with accuracies (R2) exceeding 90%. Accurate synthesis of 12-lead ECG from a single-lead device can ultimately enable its wider application and improved point-of-care (POC) diagnostics.

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