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Presents a new adaptive compression method for ECGs. The method represents each R-R interval by an optimally time-warped polynomial. It achieves a high-quality approximation at less than 250 bits/s. The author shows that the corresponding rates for other transform based schemes (the DCT and the DLT) are always higher. Also, the new method is less sensitive to errors in QRS detection and it removes more (white) noise from the signal. The reconstruction errors are distributed more uniformly in the new scheme and the peak error is usually lower. The reconstruction method is also useful for adaptive filtering of noisy ECG signals.