Polyphonic sonification of electrocardiography signals for diagnosis of cardiac pathologies

Kather JN, Hermann T, Bukschat Y, Kramer T, Schad LR, Zöllner FG (2017)
Scientific Reports 7: 44549.

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Abstract
Electrocardiography (ECG) data are multidimensional temporal data with ubiquitous applications in the clinic. Conventionally, these data are presented visually. It is presently unclear to what degree data sonification (auditory display), can enable the detection of clinically relevant cardiac pathologies in ECG data. In this study, we introduce a method for polyphonic sonification of ECG data, whereby different ECG channels are simultaneously represented by sound of different pitch. We retrospectively applied this method to 12 samples from a publicly available ECG database. We and colleagues from our professional environment then analyzed these data in a blinded. Based on these analyses, we found that the sonification technique can be intuitively understood after a short training session. On average, the correct classification rate for observers trained in cardiology was 78%, compared to 68% and 50% for observers not trained in cardiology or not trained in medicine at all, respectively. These values compare to an expected random guessing performance of 25%. Strikingly, 27% of all observers had a classification accuracy over 90%, indicating that sonification can be very successfully used by talented individuals. These findings can serve as a baseline for potential clinical applications of ECG sonification.
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Kather JN, Hermann T, Bukschat Y, Kramer T, Schad LR, Zöllner FG. Polyphonic sonification of electrocardiography signals for diagnosis of cardiac pathologies. Scientific Reports. 2017;7: 44549.
Kather, J. N., Hermann, T., Bukschat, Y., Kramer, T., Schad, L. R., & Zöllner, F. G. (2017). Polyphonic sonification of electrocardiography signals for diagnosis of cardiac pathologies. Scientific Reports, 7, 44549. doi:10.1038/srep44549
Kather, J. N., Hermann, T., Bukschat, Y., Kramer, T., Schad, L. R., and Zöllner, F. G. (2017). Polyphonic sonification of electrocardiography signals for diagnosis of cardiac pathologies. Scientific Reports 7:44549.
Kather, J.N., et al., 2017. Polyphonic sonification of electrocardiography signals for diagnosis of cardiac pathologies. Scientific Reports, 7: 44549.
J.N. Kather, et al., “Polyphonic sonification of electrocardiography signals for diagnosis of cardiac pathologies”, Scientific Reports, vol. 7, 2017, : 44549.
Kather, J.N., Hermann, T., Bukschat, Y., Kramer, T., Schad, L.R., Zöllner, F.G.: Polyphonic sonification of electrocardiography signals for diagnosis of cardiac pathologies. Scientific Reports. 7, : 44549 (2017).
Kather, Jakob Nikolas, Hermann, Thomas, Bukschat, Yannick, Kramer, Tilmann, Schad, Lothar R., and Zöllner, Frank Gerrit. “Polyphonic sonification of electrocardiography signals for diagnosis of cardiac pathologies”. Scientific Reports 7 (2017): 44549.
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This data publication is cited in the following publications:
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2908653
Supplementary Material for "Polyphonic sonification of electrocardiography signals for diagnosis of cardiac pathologies"
Kather JN, Hermann T, Bukschat Y, Kramer T, Schad LR, Zöllner FG (2017) : Bielefeld University. doi:10.4119/unibi/2908653.

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