CardioSounds: A portable system to sonify ECG rhythm disturbances in real-time
Aldana Blanco, Andrea Lorena
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CardioSounds is a portable system that allows users to measure and sonify their electrocardiogram signal in real-time. The ECG signal is acquired using the hardware platform BITalino and subsequently analyzed and sonified using a Raspberry Pi. Users can control basic features from the system (start recording, stop recording) using their smartphone. The system is meant to be used for diagnostic and monitoring of cardiac pathologies, providing users with the possibility to monitor a signal without occupying their visual attention. In this paper, we introduce a novel method, anticipatory mapping, to sonify rhythm disturbances such as Atrial Fibrillation, Atrial flutter and Ventricular Fibrillation. Anticipatory mapping enhances perception of rhythmic details without disrupting the direct perception of the actual heart beat rhythm. We test the method on selected pathological data involving three of the most known rhythm disturbances. A preliminary perception test to assess aesthetics of the sonifications and its possible use in medical scenarios shows that the anticipatory mapping method is regarded as informative discerning healthy and pathological states, however there is no agreement about a preferred sonification type.