A two-dimensional (2-D) wavelet-based electrocardiogram (ECG) data compression method is presented which employs a modified set partitioning in hierarchical trees (SPIHT) algorithm. This modified SPIHT algorithm utilizes further the redundancy among medium- and high-frequency subbands of the wavelet coefficients and the proposed 2-D approach utilizes the fact that ECG signals generally show redundancy between adjacent beats and between adjacent samples. An ECG signal is cut and aligned to form a 2-D data array, and then 2-D wavelet transform and the modified SPIHT can be applied. Records selected from the MIT-BIH arrhythmia database are tested. The experimental results show that the proposed method achieves high compression ratio with relatively low distortion and is effective for various kinds of ECG morphologies.
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