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Enhancing ECG Analysis of Implantable Cardiac Monitor Data: An Efficient Pipeline for Multi-Label Classification

  • Implantable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) devices are demonstrating as of today, the fastest-growing market for implantable cardiac devices. As such, they are becoming increasingly common in patients for measuring heart electrical activity. ICMs constantly monitor and record a patient's heart rhythm and when triggered - send it to a secure server where health care professionals (denote HCPs from here on) can review it. These devices employ a relatively simplistic rule-based algorithm (due to energy consumption constraints) to alert for abnormal heart rhythms. This algorithm is usually parameterized to an over-sensitive mode in order to not miss a case (resulting in a relatively high false-positive rate) and this, combined with the device's nature of constantly monitoring the heart rhythm and its growing popularity, results in HCPs having to analyze and diagnose an increasingly growing amount of data. In order to reduce the load on the latter, automated methods for ECG analysis are nowadays becoming a great tool to assist HCPs in their analysis. While state-of-the-art algorithms are data-driven rather than rule-based, training data for ICMs often consist of specific characteristics that make its analysis unique and particularly challenging. This study presents the challenges and solutions in automatically analyzing ICM data and introduces a method for its classification that outperforms existing methods on such data. It does so by combining high-frequency noise detection (which often occurs in ICM data) with a semi-supervised learning pipeline that allows for re-labeling of training episodes, and by using segmentation and dimension reduction techniques that are robust to morphology variations of the sECG signal (which are typical to ICM data). As a result, it performs better than state-of-the-art techniques on such data with e.g. F1 score of 0.51 vs. 0.38 of our baseline state-of-the-art technique in correctly calling Atrial Fibrilation in ICM data. As such, it could be used in numerous ways such as aiding HCPs in the analysis of ECGs originating from ICMs by, e.g., suggesting a rhythm type.

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Author:Amnon Bleich, Antje Linnemann, Benjamin Jaidi, Bjoern H Diem, Tim ConradORCiD
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):Machine Learning and Knowledge Extraction
Date of first Publication:2023/10/24
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