This article reports on the new design and development of an electrocardiogram (ECG) measurement instrument built on a system-on-chip (SOC) embedded system. A new approach using the peak quantification method (PQM) for measuring the human heart rate is described. A computer, some medical equipment, and other facilities are often required for conducting the traditional ECG measurements. However, the monitors of such instruments have some disadvantages, e.g., bulky, not very easy to transport, expensive, and so forth. Hence, we propose a new design for ECG measurement which is built on an embedded system. Our system adopts a SOC and ECG detection circuits to carry out a real-time, low-cost, and compact ECG measurement system. Regarding heart rate computation, the experimental results show that the new PQM algorithm, when applied to heart rate measurements, yields error smaller than 1 bpm. In addition, the correlation coefficient between the measured and actual heartbeats can reach 0.94 when the heart rate is less than 153 bpm. It shows that the use of the PQM algorithm gives an extremely high degree of accuracy.
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